Child support is a necessary part of a divorce situation. It is a legal order that requires one parent to assist the other in financially supporting their children. The law recognizes that every parent has a responsibility to support his or her children. In a divorce, this often requires the court to step in and make this a legal obligation punishable with fines and other penalties if a parent fails to obey the order.
The South Carolina Bar explains child support guidelines update every four years. This includes the financial guidelines that help to determine how much support a parent will pay. It is important that every person understands the general guidelines for child support, which include how to request a modification, how the court calculates support and other important details.
Failure to pay
Not paying a child support order is a violation of the law. A person may face fines and jail time for not paying child support. If a parent can show why he or she did not make payments, then the court may offer alternative options to fix the situation.
The court does not expect circumstances to remain the same forever, so it offers the option to request a modification. A person may request a support modification due to changes in income or other life circumstances that impact the ability to pay or reduce the need for payments. A court will generally hear a case only when there are significant changes.
Calculating the amount
The court uses guidelines set by law to determine how much child support a person will pay. These guidelines consider the financial situations of both parents along with the specific needs of the children. The court also considers medical expenses and the other financial obligations of each parent. The goal is to provide adequate financial support for the children from the parent with higher income to the parent with lower income with consideration to parenting time.