South Carolina Legislature


 

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S 338
Session 110 (1993-1994) 

S 0338 General Bill, By McConnell and Courtney
 A Bill to amend Section 20-7-852, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976,
 relating to child support proceedings, so as to provide that in any proceeding
 for the award of child support there shall be a rebuttable presumption that
 the amount required by the child support guidelines is the correct amount to
 be awarded and that findings which rebut the guidelines must state the amount
 of the award required by the guidelines and a justification of why the order
 varies from the guidelines, and also to provide that the court may consider
 the passage of time since the issuance of an existing child support order or
 the financial impossibility to meet one's child support obligation in
 determining whether a change in circumstances has occurred which would require
 a modification of an existing order.

   01/28/93  Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-8
   01/28/93  Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-8
   02/02/94  Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment
                     Judiciary SJ-10
   02/03/94  Senate Amended SJ-17
   02/03/94  Senate Read second time SJ-19
   02/08/94  Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-13
   02/09/94  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-33
   02/09/94  House  Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-33



Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT ADOPTED

February 3, 1994

S. 338

Introduced by SENATORS McConnell and Courtney

S. Printed 2/3/94--S.

Read the first time January 28, 1993.

A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-852, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT PROCEEDINGS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IN ANY PROCEEDING FOR THE AWARD OF CHILD SUPPORT THERE SHALL BE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT THE AMOUNT REQUIRED BY THE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES IS THE CORRECT AMOUNT TO BE AWARDED AND THAT FINDINGS WHICH REBUT THE GUIDELINES MUST STATE THE AMOUNT OF THE AWARD REQUIRED BY THE GUIDELINES AND A JUSTIFICATION OF WHY THE ORDER VARIES FROM THE GUIDELINES, AND ALSO TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MAY CONSIDER THE PASSAGE OF TIME SINCE THE ISSUANCE OF AN EXISTING CHILD SUPPORT ORDER OR THE FINANCIAL IMPOSSIBILITY TO MEET ONE'S CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER A CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES HAS OCCURRED WHICH WOULD REQUIRE A MODIFICATION OF AN EXISTING ORDER.

Amend Title To Conform

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Section 20-7-852 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 195 of 1989, is amended to read:

"Section 20-7-852. (A) In any proceeding in which for the award of child support is in issue, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award which would result from the application of those the guidelines required under Section 43-5-580(b) is the correct amount of the child support to be awarded. However, a A different amount may be awarded upon a showing that application of the guidelines in a particular caseNext 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 Previouscase.

(C) The court shall consider the following factors which can be possible reasons for deviation from the guidelines or can 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 non-court ordered child support from another relationship;

(8) child-related unreimbursed extraordinary medical expenses;

(9) monthly fixed payments imposed by 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, lumpsum, 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.

(C) (D) Pursuant to Section 43-5-580(b), the department shall promulgate regulations which include addressing establish child support guidelines as a rebuttable presumption. The department shall review these regulations at least once every four years to insure ensure that their application results in appropriate child support award amounts."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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