2014 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 63 - South Carolina Children's Code
CHAPTER 17 - PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT
SECTION 63-17-470. Proceedings and awards.
(A) In any proceeding for the award of child support, there is a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines required under Section 43-5-580(b) is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. A different amount may be awarded upon a showing that application of the guidelines in a particular case would be unjust or inappropriate. When the court orders a child support award that varies significantly from the amount resulting from the application of the guidelines, the court shall make specific, written findings of those facts upon which it bases its conclusion supporting that award. Findings that rebut the guidelines must state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines and include a justification of why the order varies from the guidelines.
(B) Application of these guidelines to an existing child support order, in and of itself, is not considered a change in circumstances for the modification of that existing order, except in a Title IV-D case.
(C) The court shall consider the following factors which may be possible reasons for deviation from the guidelines or may be used in determining whether a change in circumstances has occurred which would require a modification of an existing order:
(1) educational expenses for the child or children or the spouse, to include those incurred for private, parochial, or trade schools, other secondary schools, or post-secondary education where there is tuition or related costs;
(2) equitable distribution of property;
(3) consumer debts;
(4) families with more than six children;
(5) unreimbursed extraordinary medical or dental expenses for the noncustodial or custodial parent;
(6) mandatory deduction of retirement pensions and union fees;
(7) support obligations for other dependents living with the noncustodial parent or noncourt ordered child support from another relationship;
(8) child-related unreimbursed extraordinary medical expenses;
(9) monthly fixed payments imposed by a court or operation of law;
(10) significant available income of the child or children;
(11) substantial disparity of income in which the noncustodial parent's income is significantly less than the custodial parent's income, thus making it financially impracticable to pay what the guidelines indicate the noncustodial parent should pay;
(12) alimony; because of their unique nature, lump sum, rehabilitative, reimbursement, or any other alimony that the court may award, may be considered by the court as a possible reason for deviation from these guidelines;
(13) agreements reached between parties; the court may deviate from the guidelines based on an agreement between the parties if both parties are represented by counsel or if, upon a thorough examination of any party not represented by counsel, the court determines the party fully understands the agreement as to child support. The court still has the discretion and the independent duty to determine if the amount is reasonable and in the best interest of the child or children.
(D) Pursuant to Section 43-5-580(b), the department shall promulgate regulations which establish child support guidelines as a rebuttable presumption. The department shall review these regulations at least once every four years to ensure that their application results in appropriate child support award amounts.
HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 361, Section 2.
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