Child support in Greenville, South Carolina is determined according to the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into account both parents’ income as well as the child’s health care and daycare expenses. Also included in the calculation is the number of overnights the child spends with both parents. A court may consider any extraordinary circumstances as well.
Under the guidelines, a parent’s actual gross income is normally used. However, a court can use potential income if a parent is unemployed or underemployed. Gross income includes salaries, wages, bonuses, and business income, among numerous other sources. Income may also be imputed to non-income producing assets such as unused land. Excluded from the definition of “income” are public assistance programs such as TANF and food stamps.
In applying the guidelines, the court will consider a child’s health insurance and health care needs. One or both parents may be required to obtain comprehensive and reasonably priced health insurance for the child. When a child’s insurance is combined with a parent’s, only the portion attributable to the child will be factored. Uncovered health care expenses for the child exceeding $250 per child per year will be apportioned between the parents, too.
Daycare in Greenville, South Carolina can be expensive for many parents. Fortunately, the guidelines account for this cost. Expenses incurred for child care, due to a parent’s employment or job search, are included in the calculation. However, the costs must be reasonably necessary to afford quality childcare from a licensed provider. Qualified child tax credits will be taken into account by the judge as well.
Child support can be relatively easy to calculate when one parent has custody of the child. But there are many cases in which parents share custody. The “shared custody” guidelines may be used in these cases. To qualify for this, both parents must have custody of the child at least 109 overnights each year. When a parent fails to exercise shared custody, the parent to whom support is owed may raise this issue. In such an event, the court can order the amount of support that would exist without shared custody.
Shared physical custody should not be confused with split custody. Split custody means there are at least two children and both parents have physical custody of at least one child. A court here will first determine the amount of support for the child or children in the other parent’s custody. This results in an unequal amount for each child. This difference is then offset, with the parent who owes the larger amount paying the difference to the other parent.
The child support guidelines recognize that not all Greenville, South Carolina families are the same. For this reason, a parent can ask the court to deviate from the guidelines in calculating child support. Numerous circumstances may exist which would justify the court deviating. These include, but are not limited to: a child’s educational expenses; equitable distribution of property; consumer debt; and more. Extraordinary travel expenses, which can exist when the parents live far from each other, may also be considered. Even alimony and substantial differences in the parent’s income can result in a deviation.
Courts will generally require both parents to present verified financial declarations. These declarations are used to ascertain a parent’s income, and therefore, make a proper calculation of child support. Often times, a parent will dispute how much money the other parent earns. In these cases, a judge could require the parties to present pay stubs, employer statements, or other documentation. A parent may also show his or her income using tax returns. Your attorney will want to make sure the other parent is paying his or her fair share of child support. Therefore, any concerns about the parent’s earnings should be brought to your lawyer’s attention.
Contact A Greenville Child Support Attorney Today
The rules surrounding child support are much more detailed and complicated than this overview can provide. If you are in need of child support or defending against it, don’t go without legal representation. The Greenville child support attorneys at Greenville Family Law are experienced in all aspects of child support. They will explain the process and calculations to you, and defend your rights in court. Speak to one of our dedicated professionals today to set up a consultation.