Litigation over separation, divorce and child custody is often emotionally charged. Our goal is to assist our clients in navigating through the litigation process and the issues that necessarily arise in conjunction with divorce, such as equitable division, custody arrangements, child support and alimony.
We will determine the appropriate ground for divorce, whether a fault ground: habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotics, adultery, desertion, or physical cruelty; or the no-fault ground of one-year continuous separation. If a divorce is based on one of the fault grounds recognized in South Carolina, the firm will work to develop the evidence required by law to establish the client is entitled to a divorce on that basis.
While South Carolina does not have "legal separation", a Decree of Separate Support and Maintenance may be obtained in advance of a divorce. This will allow the parties to live separately and determine, on a temporary basis, some of the issues that must be resolved including child custody and support, alimony and allocation of debt.
Generally the most emotional issue that must be resolved in a divorce is child custody and visitation. We will work to secure a custodial arrangement and determine a visitation schedule that is in the best interest of our client.
Child support is generally calculated using the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into account a variety of factors including the gross monthly income of both parties, the cost of any work related day care, any health insurance premium covering the minor children and any other child for whom a party is legally responsible. We will work to establish the appropriate amount of child support under the guidelines or whether a deviation from the guidelines is appropriate.
Alimony or separate support and maintenance, refers to money paid by one spouse to another either after filing, or before a divorce is granted or by order of the court. A determination of the amount of alimony is done using factors set forth in South Carolina Code of Laws. The firm works to ensure that the relevant factors have been explored and supporting facts clearly presented to the court in order to achieve the best result for our client.
Equitable distribution: Dividing the marital property, or property acquired by the parties, during the marriage is done on a percentage basis. We work to ensure the marital assets and debts are discovered and disclosed so that a fair division of property for our clients can be accomplished.