Child Support

How Is Child Support Determined in South Carolina?

Child support is determined by the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines.  

The child support calculation is based upon the following standard criteria of the parents:

  • Gross income of both parents

  • Whether any other support/alimony is being paid or received by a party

  • Whether other children from a prior marriage are the household

  • The number of children

  • Health insurance costs related solely to the children

  • Any work related day-care expenses for the children

Can Child Support Payments Be Modified in South Carolina?

Child support may be modified in the future based upon a material change of circumstances which is not anticipated at the time of the initial calculation and child support order.  However, child support modification actions are generally difficult and need careful planning and evaluation before proceeding.  

What Happens if One of the Parents is Unemployed?

The simple answer is that a Court may impute income to a parent.  Although child support is usually an easy issue to evaluate and determine, it becomes more difficult when one of the parents is underemployed or unemployed.  The Court will look at the whether the situation was voluntary or caused by outside factors beyond the control of a parent.  The imputation of income to a party who is voluntarily under/unemployed is often a contested issue.   In such circumstances, the Court looks at a variety of factors and one has to determine how to evaluate a reasonable and fair imputed income to that parent for purposes of the child support calculations.

Can the Court Deviate from the Child Support Guidelines?

Under certain circumstances, the court may deviate from the child support guidelines.  Such reason may include:

  • Private school tuition costs

  • Unordinary extracurricular activities

  • Special medical needs of children

  • Other factors

The Court is entitled to look at a specific variety of factors to determine whether or not to deviate from the child support guidelines.   Deviation is the exception and not the normal practice of the Family Court.  We can help you evaluate your situation.  

Over the decades, we have drafted numerous detailed settlement agreement that deviate from the child support guidelines for valid and specific reasons.  To ensure that you are properly protected, make sure you have a family lawyer who can guide you through this process. 


Contact Rosen Hagood Today

151 Meeting Street, Suite 400
Charleston, S.C. 29401
Phone: 843-577-6726
Fax: 843-724-8036
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