Child support occurs when a noncustodial parent pays a set amount of money for the support of a child or children. In South Carolina, child support is ordered by the Family Court based on the child support guidelines. These guidelines take into consideration the income of both parents as well as any preexisting child support obligations to other children as well as alimony, the cost of health insurance, child care costs and extraordinary medical expenses. Generally, Child support can be modified, either increased or decreased, upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances.
Failure to pay child support can result in being held in contempt of Court. Known as a Rule to Show cause, the party who failed to pay child support must show the judge why there is a valid reason for not paying child support. A person found to be in willful violation of a Court Order to pay child support could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, up to a $1500.00 fine, or ordered to perform up to 300 hours of community service.
Generally, a Court ordered child support obligation will continue until the minor child turns 18 and graduates from high school. However, it is possible that the Family Court could order the obligation to continue for exceptional situations such as college or if the child is disabled.