Nov 01

The Basics of South Carolina Child Support

Written by: Megan Dell

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The Basics of South Carolina Child SupportIn any case involving children, child support is something that must be determined.  Most people do not dispute that every parent has an obligation to provide financial support for his or her children, but the question becomes: how much?

South Carolina courts follow research that shows that parents don’t just spend money when their kids need it; they also spend money in proportion to how much their income is.  For this reason, South Carolina Family Courts have embraced what is referred to as the income shares model for calculating child support.  The goal of his model is to ensure that the child receives the same share of the parents’ incomes that he would receive if his parents were still living together.

How can the Court determine how much each parent would spend on the child?

South Carolina Family Courts look at the following factors when calculating child support:

  • How many children there are
  • How custody of those children is divided between the parents
  • What each parent’s gross income is
  • Any alimony that is paid between the parents
  • Whether the parent have any other alimony or child support obligations (from a different relationship)
  • The number of other children the homes of each parent
  • Any additional expenses incurred by each parent, including: health insurance premiums for the children, the children’s extraordinary medical expenses, and each parent’s work-related childcare costs

The South Carolina legislature has required the Department of Social Services with developing guidelines for child support amounts.  To see those guidelines in action, take a look at this child support calculator, which is provided by the DSS Office of Child Support Enforcement.


In many cases, the Child Support Guidelines are the best method for calculating child support, but they do not apply when parents earn a high income (earning more than $40,000 per month) or when there are more than 6 children who need to be supported.  There are also times when it is necessary to deviate from the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines.  That is why it important to discuss your case with lawyer who calculates child support regularly and can advise you about your situation.

Schedule a consultation with our child support attorney to discuss your particular situation.