How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is essentially set by statute and absent unusual circumstances, child support will be awarded in accordance with the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. Child support is calculated based upon the combined incomes of both parties which establishes the base combined child support obligation. To that amount is added the actual cost of the health insurance premium (for the children only) and the costs of work related day care. If there are reoccurring extraordinary medical expenses those costs are added as well to the combined child support obligation. The noncustodial parent’s child support obligation is the percentage of the total child support obligation (including health insurance, day care and extraordinary reoccurring medical expenses) that their income bears to the combined income of the parties. Different calculations may apply in situations in which the noncustodial parent has the minor child/children for more than 109 overnights each year.
Will Medical Insurance be Required for the Children?
If medical insurance is offered through the employment of either parent, the court will require that parent to provide health insurance for the children. As the health insurance premium is taken into consideration in the calculation of child support, it matters not who pays the health insurance premium. The net effect of each parent’s responsibility to provide for their children will remain the same. If he noncustodial parent pays the insurance, the actual child support payment to the custodial parent will be less than if the custodial parent pays for the health insurance.
How does the Court Apportion Responsibility for Payment of Medical and Dental Expenses?
The child support guidelines presume that the custodial parent will be responsible for the first $250.00 of non-reimbursed medical, dental and similar such expenses for each child, each year. Thereafter, the remaining non-reimbursed medical, dental and similar such expenses will be split in accordance with the percentages that each parent’s income bears to the combined income of the parties. For example, if the noncustodial parent makes $4,000 a month and the custodial parent makes $2,000 a month, the custodial parent would be responsible for one-third of the non-reimbursed expenses in excess of $250.00 per child per year and the noncustodial parent would be responsible for two-thirds of those expenses.
Is there a Child Support Calculator available on line?
Yes. The South Carolina Department of Social Services’ website has a child support calculator and can be found at http://www.state.sc.us/dss/csed/calculator.htm.