Understanding Child Support in South Carolina
Child support is a crucial aspect of divorce and separation cases, especially when children are involved. In South Carolina, the family court determines this based on a variety of factors, including the income of both parents and the needs of the children. Sentinel Law Firm is well equipped to help you navigate the process of determining child support and ensuring that you receive a fair outcome in Greenville and Spartanburg, SC.
Though the Family Court has discretion in determining the final amount, there are certain child support guidelines that are typically followed. The first step in South Carolina is to calculate the combined income and necessary expenses of both parents. This includes salary, bonuses, and other forms of regular income as well as things like expenses related to other children that each parent must provide for.
The court then uses this information to determine the basic support obligation, which is the amount of support required to meet the basic needs of the children. This amount is divided between the parents based on their relative income, with the parent who earns more typically paying a larger portion.
Factors Considered in Initial Determinations
In addition to income, the family court may also consider a variety of other factors. For example, the court may take into account the cost of health insurance for the children, child care expenses, and any other special needs the children may have.
South Carolina’s Child Support Guidelines list various considerations that go into determining the amount of support to award. The family court may also consider the number of children involved, as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the children. A simplified child support calculator for South Carolina can also be found on the Department of Social Services website.
Modifying Child Support Orders
In South Carolina, either parent can request a modification of a previous order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This can include changes in income, changes in the needs of the children, or changes in the custody arrangement. The court will then review the new information and make a decision on whether to modify the obligation.
Retroactive Child Support
South Carolina also allows for retroactive chilld support, which is when a parent that has not provided for their child previously – either for a period of time or since the child was born – is ordered to make up for those previous inadequacies.
Retroactive awards can also be ordered if one parent fails to disclose or hides assets in a previous support determination. The longer that the other parent waits to assert this cause of action, the less likely the court is to order such support, so its important to reach out to a family lawyer as soon as possible to seek retroactive child support.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney
While the process of determining child support can seem straightforward, it can also be quite complicated. There are many legal and financial factors to consider, and it can be difficult to navigate the process on your own. That’s why hiring an attorney is often the best choice for anyone that has filed for a divorce or child custody in South Carolina.
In addition to determining the initial obligation, it’s also important to consider the possibility of child support modification. Since circumstances can change over time, it may become necessary to adjust the amount of support being paid. For example, one parent may experience a change in income, the needs of the children may change, or the custody arrangement may be altered.
How Sentinel Law Firm Can Help
At Sentinel Law Firm, our attorneys can help you understand the process of determining child support in South Carolina. We will work with you to gather all of the necessary information and present it to the family court in the best possible light. We can also help you negotiate a fair and reasonable child support agreement, taking into account the needs of both you and your children. In addition, we can help you seek payment for child support arrears or delinquent child support.
In conclusion, determining child support or modifying an existing order in South Carolina is a complex process that requires the expertise of an experienced attorney. At Sentinel Law Firm, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to help you navigate this process and ensure that you receive a fair outcome. So, if you’re in need of establishing child support or modifying an existing order in Greenville or Spartanburg County, South Carolina, don’t hesitate to contact Sentinel Law Firm today and schedule your consultation.