Frequently Asked Questions

How is Child Support Set?

In almost all cases, child support is set based on formulas and tables created by the South Carolina Department of Social Services, which are called the “Child Support Guidelines.”  A copy of the current child support guidelines can be downloaded here: South Carolina Child Support Guidelines (2014 edition).

Support is based on a number of factors: prior support obligation; the number of children being supported; the income (or earning capacities) of both parents; the percentage of combined income each parent has; the number of other children each parent has living in their own home; the work related day care expenses either party has for the child or children and the health insurance expenses either party has for the child or children.

In cases where each party has custody of one or more of their children the “split custody” guidelines will apply. In cases in which each party has the children at least 110 overnights, the “shared custody” guidelines may be applied.  See S.C. Code Regs. § 114-4730.

The basis dispute in setting child support is often the dispute over who should have custody and whether the other parent should have 109 (or more) overnights with the child. Disputes over income or earning capacity are also common. However, if the information regarding the child support factors is not in dispute, application of the child support guidelines is simply and the setting of child support will generally not become contested.

In circumstances where the supporting parent does not pay child support promptly, he or she can be ordered to pay via wage withholding and/or through the family courts (which then keep a payment record and will seek enforcement if the supporting parent does not pay child support as ordered).

South Carolina Department of Social Services has a website in which various child support scenarios can be examined by inputting information relevant to the child support factors. The child support figures generated are generally off by a few dollars from the actual guideline calculation, but provide a rough estimate of the amount of child support that would be awarded if the parties agree (or the court finds) the inputted information is accurate. That web site is http://www.state.sc.us/dss/csed.

If you desire to obtain child support, modify child support, or defend a child support action, you are welcome to click here to contact Mr. Forman’s office.

For more information on child support:

Using Financial Records in Support Cases

Contingency Fees and Interest in Collecting Back Child Support and Alimony

Creating or Defeating South Carolina Jurisdiction in Multi-state Custody or Support Cases

After eight years South Carolina finally updates its child support guidelines