For the majority of couples in South Carolina, it is relatively easy to determine how much child support must be paid. Our state has Child Support Guidelines that consider a number of factors when calculating the total child support owed by both parties. Though these calculations work well for most couples, there are some people at the upper end of the income spectrum for whom the Guidelines do not strictly apply, and in these situations, our Family Court Judges must instead make case-specific determinations when setting child support in high income cases.
The South Carolina Child Support Guidelines only calculate payments where the parents' combined gross income is $20,000 per month ($240,000 per year) or less. This occurs more often than you might expect, particularly for doctors, dentists, business executives, attorneys, pro athletes, and other professionals. The Guidelines provide that where income exceeds that threshold, it is up to the Court to determine the amount of child support in that particular case. Because judges' decisions can vary widely when this occurs, it is especially important to hire an attorney that has experience with high income cases to ensure that child support is calculated fairly.