Child support is payments made by a noncustodial parent for support of a child or children. In South Carolina, court ordered child support is set based on child support guidelines which consider the income of both parents. Every state has child support guidelines which are reviewed and updated every 4 years. Support is based on gross income. Child support, alimony, the number of other children in the home, health insurance, child care costs and extraordinary medical expenses are also considered in determining the support amount.
Child support calculator
SC Child Support Guidelines
Child support may be increased or decreased when there is a substantial change of circumstances. These might be situations like losing your job, making substantially less, a child now lives with you, a child is now emancipated, or you have a medical condition, injury or disability. If you have a substantial change, act quickly. Child Support can only be modified from the time you file the action forward. For example, if you become disabled in January but do not file for a modification until June, the support can only be changed from the June filing date. It will not go back to the date you became disabled. Generally, the current child support order must be from South Carolina. If the order is from another state and the child or other parent lives in that state, that state must handle the modification.
Information on modifying a South Carolina child support order
Court approved forms for modification
If you fail to pay child support, you can be held in contempt of court. If you are required to make payments through the Clerk of Court’s office, the clerk will automatically issue a Rule to Show Cause for failure to pay. You will be notified of the date and time for the hearing. You will need to show the judge why you have not made your payments as ordered. If the court finds you in contempt, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, up to a $1500.00 fine or both.
Resources if you are unable to pay support
Support generally continues until the child is 18 and has finished high school or at the end of the school year that the child turns 19. Support can continue for exceptional situations such as college or if the child is disabled. Child support does not end automatically. You will need to file a motion or other court action to terminate the support obligation.
Form SCCA440 to file for emancipation
Additional information on child support in South Carolina
Information for fathers and noncustodial parents
Child Support Services Division of SC Department of Social Services
Child Support Information - LawHelp.org
Child Support Modification Forms Help - LawHelp.org
What you need to know about child support - SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
South Carolina Children’s Code - Paternity and Child Support
This information was prepared to give you some general information on the law. It is not intended as legal advice about any particular problem. If you have questions about the law you should consult a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100 in Richland or Lexington Counties, and 1-800-868-2284 from other parts of the state.