Parents have a duty to financially support their children. Child support depends on many factors within each parent’s budget. South Carolina courts consider the best interest of the child when determining support and look at what would help the child the most.

To calculate child support, the state looks at what the parent has to pay for. By calculating these factors, the child gets the support they need while the parent pays what they can. Some questions the court considers when determining child support include:

  • How many dependents do you have? South Carolina looks at how many children you parent. This gives the state a better understanding of your financial responsibilities. Income based calculations ensure that the state never asks for more than what you can pay for.
  • How much do you make in a year? To calculate your income, the state reviews your earnings and employment history. Parents voluntarily unemployed or not working a full-time position face added scrutiny and the state has the authority to order a support amount based on your potential wages.
  • How many overnight visits do you get? A judge looks at how many overnight visits each parent gets. This gives the state a better idea of how many times a year each parent cares for their child. If the overnight visits are 50/50, a smaller child support is required. This is because you both spend the time and money on your child. If overnight visits lean one way or another, the child support will increase.
  • How much is spent on daycare and medical expenses? If your child needs full-time daycare, your co-parent should help you pay for those expenses. The state considers this also when paying for medical expenses for your child. They don’t expect one parent to pay for these expenses for your child to get the care they need.

South Carolina courts aim to calculate child support in a way that is fair for both parents. The state’s intention is for your child to be taken care of to the best of each parent’s ability. With a fair support order in place, each parent can afford to live their lives while supporting their children.