Calculating Child Support in South Carolina

Calculating Child Support in South Carolina person typing into a calculator with lots of paperwork in front of them

Calculating Your South Carolina Child Support

You can find out how much child support you have to pay in your divorce case by looking at overnight totals in South Carolina's child support formula. Apart from income, the overnight totals where the child/children stay with you are an important factor in South Carolina child support calculations. You pay or receive child support based on your parenting time.

Overnight Times Are Estimated

Due to the tediousness of counting total hours, attorneys and judges in South Carolina often rely only on overnight estimates to calculate child support, even if they aren’t correct. Estimates are also often used by divorced parents as well. You incorrectly estimate your parenting time totals when you compare them to your real schedule. As a result, you will not receive a fair or accurate child support amount.

Calculating Your Parenting Time

By using software to calculate your overnight parenting time, you can make adjustments to make it more accurate and show the hours. By doing so, you may be able to request more time with your children and make adjustments to your support.

Sole Versus Shared Custody

In South Carolina, sole custody is usually given to the parent where the child/children spend most of their time. In these cases, the other parent usually spends about 30 percent of their time with the children or 110 overnighters.

Shared custody occurs when each parent has a certain amount of regular contact with their children.  Although the time spent with the children doesn’t have to be equal, the nonresidential parent must have the child for a minimum of 110 nights to qualify for shared custody.

How the Formulas Are Calculated for Child Support

Under sole custody, the non-residential parent must pay child support. Income doesn’t matter. In joint custody situations where the parents each have the child for 182 days, the incomes of both are calculated, and the higher earning parent pays the child support. The South Carolina Department of Social Services offers an online calculator to estimate approximate child support payments, making it much easier. 

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