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Does Child Support Increase if My Salary Increases?

On Behalf of | | Family Law

Child support doesn’t automatically increase or decrease in the State of South Carolina. Instead, a modification that’s based on a substantial change, such as a significant pay raise, must be sought. Because the income of the parent who pays child support is a key component of every child support order, a considerable bump in your pay could support an increase in child support, but for that to happen, either you or your ex would need to request a child support modification. An experienced South Carolina family law attorney can help you with your questions and concerns about child support modifications.

Child Support Is Court Ordered

Child support in South Carolina is court-ordered, and the orders remain in effect until the court modifies or ends them, such as when a child ages out. While you and your ex can modify child support between yourselves based on a change in circumstances, such as the fact that either of your incomes has changed, it’s important to file the change with the court. Otherwise, your original orders will remain in effect, which can lead to legal concerns. When parents are in agreement on the matter, however, South Carolina courts are almost certain to modify the order.

Child Support Modifications

Either parent can seek a child support modification in South Carolina if at least three years have passed since the last order was entered. Otherwise, a substantial change must have occurred, and matters that tend to qualify include all the following:

  • Either parent losing a job
  • Either parent earning significantly less or significantly more
  • Either parent becoming ill or disabled
  • Either parent becoming responsible for one or more additional children

Ultimately, the court has the discretion to determine whether a child support modification is warranted, and they take many factors – including the children’s needs and how well they’re being met – into careful consideration in the process.

Your Case

If you’re earning considerably more than you were when your child support order was issued, it could affect your child support obligation, but this isn’t necessarily the case. For your pay raise to increase your child support payments, one of you – either you or your ex, will need to petition the court for a modification. If this happens, the court will take your family’s unique circumstances into consideration. While your earnings as the parent who pays child support is a critical factor, the court will also consider the children’s needs, and if they’re met by your current payments, the court may not modify the standing orders.

Reach Out to an Experienced South Carolina Family Law Attorney Today

The practiced South Carolina family law attorneys at Query Sautter & Associates have the experience, resources, and drive to help guide your case toward an advantageous resolution that protects your legal rights, works for you, and honors your children’s needs. For more information about what we can do to help, please contact us online or call 843-795-9500 today.