Frequently Asked Questions About Charleston Child Support [Part 1]

You probably have many questions about SC child support in connection with your Charleston divorce.  I am here to answer them for you.

As a Charleston, SC child custody and divorce lawyer, I am frequently asked questions concerning South Carolina child support law. You will find my answers to those frequently asked questions in this article and in the companion articles “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Charleston Child Support – Part 2” and “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Charleston Child Support – Part 3.”

1. How is child support determined in Charleston, SC?

Your Charleston divorce judge will apply the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support to be paid. As I explain in greater detail in “How to Calculate Child Support in a South Carolina Divorce,” your judge determines child support in your divorce primarily on the basis of your financial circumstances. Among the six factors to be considered by your divorce judge, your income and the income of your spouse will be the most important.

2. If my spouse and I share physical child custody, will the amount of child support be reduced?

Maybe. The amount of child support depends – in part – on the number of nights that your child spends with you and your spouse. For the purpose of calculating child support, your Charleston divorce judge will be very aware of the number nights that your child will spend annually with each parent. If your child spends more than 109 nights with each parent under your child custody order, your judge will find that you and your spouse have “shared physical child custody” of your child. If you have shared physical child custody, your divorce judge will probably make a downward adjustment in the amount of child custody to be paid.

3. Do Charleston divorce judges include the income of a new spouse in calculating the amount of child support?

No. Charleston divorce judges consider only the amount of income that you and your spouse have. Our judges, likewise, ignore any money that the child may earn from working part-time while in school.

Charleston divorce judges also exclude other types of income in calculating the amount of child support to be paid. For example, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, and General Assistance are not considered in the calculation of child support.

4. Will alimony payments from my current divorce case be considered in calculating child support?

The person paying alimony will receive some reduction in the amount of child support that will be paid. However, the reduction will not be  dollar for dollar. In calculating child support in your current Charleston divorce case, your judge will probably make an adjustment for the alimony that you will be paying or receiving as a consequence of your divorce. The amount of that adjustment will depend to a significant extent on the type of alimony that is awarded.

For more information on the various types of alimony that could be awarded, please read “Six Types of Alimony in South Carolina.

5. How are alimony and child support payments from a previous divorce case treated in calculating child support?

When your Charleston divorce judge calculates the amount of child support to be paid in your case, your judge will not include in the income of the parties: (a) alimony or child support payments received from a previous marriage; or (b) alimony or child support payments paid as a consequence of a prior relationship.

6. Do I have to pay child support if I am not being allowed child visitation time?

Yes. Your duty to pay child support does not depend upon whether your former spouse permits you to see your child. Failure to pay child support is a very serious matter. If you do not pay your child support, you could be found in contempt of court, fined, and jailed.

If your former spouse is not permitting child visitation, you should consult with a Charleston child custody lawyer to discuss your legal options for getting time with your child. It may be possible to get make-up time with your child and to force your former spouse to pay for your attorney’s fees.


If you do not find the answer to your child support question here or if you want more information regarding any of these Charleston, SC child support questions, please call 843-631-7117 to speak directly with me. Alternatively, you can use the contact form to ask your child support questions. I will be quick to respond.

As an experienced divorce and child custody attorney in Charleston, SC, I will be glad to answer your Charleston divorce and child support questions.

Working together, we will protect your parental rights and build a better future for you and your child in Awendaw, Charleston, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, James Island, Johns Island, Kiawah, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Summerville, or West Ashley.

Recommendations for Additional Reading

50 Questions to Ask Your Charleston, SC Divorce Lawyer – Part 2

Alimony in Charleston, SC Divorce

If You Are Getting a Charleston Divorce, Should You Sell Your Home?

Even Decades-Long Marriages Not Safe from Divorce

Heath Insurance Post-Divorce: Are You Covered?