Every family is unique with a unique set of circumstances that are rarely ever easy. Things often become even more complicated when kids are involved. No matter the reason behind your family's dispute or break-up you deserve to have you rights under SC family law protected.
Whether you are transitioning out of a marriage, determining custody or visitation, establishing paternity or wanting to start the process of adoption, you need an attorney with compassion and understanding. We offer the best customer experience where you receive consideration and care.
Our family law services include:
If you've been served with divorce papers, you should contact a Bluffton divorce attorney immediately. There are procedural rules and law that govern what happens after service of papers has taken place. For example, if you do not respond to the divorce complaint within 30 days you put yourself at risk major legal consequences. Once served with papers from a SC family court, you should not delay contacting an attorney.
There is no such thing as legal separation in South Carolina. Once you are married, the only legal process the courts recognize is a divorce. However, while you are separated, there are certain orders that a court can put into place to protect the marrital assets and the custody of your child(ren). In South Carolina, until you are divorce you are still married. This doesn't change even if you no longer live together as a married couple.
As of July 2019, SC no longer recognizes common law marriages that were entered into after that date. If you believe that you are in a common law marraige, schedule an appointment with my law firm so that we can chat.
In SC a child born out of wedlock is an "illegitimate child" what this means is tha that a father of a child born out of wedlock must first go through the process of legitimation before a court recoginzes him as the legal father of the child and awards him any rights to custody or visitation.
There is no specific timeframe for any matter heard in SC family court. However all cases must be heard in 365 days. How long your divorce will take depends on you, your spouse and the issues in your case.
SC has 5 grounds or reasons for divorce. What we consider to be fault grounds are: adultery, habitual drunkenness, 1 year desertion and physical cruelty. If none of those desribe your situation, you can also receive a divorce after 1 year continuous separation.
Believe it or not, in South Carolina, both parents have equal rights regarding an award of custody of their children. The Family Court will make child custody decisions based upon the best interests of the child. To determine what the best interests of the child are, the Family Court will consider many factors including the following: circumstances of the spouses, nature of the case, welfare of the child, best spiritual and other interests of child, and at times, the child’s preference.
In South Carolina, visitation rights may be agreed upon by the parents. If parents cannot come to an agreement, the Family Court will set visitation rights. Once visitation is set, if a parent is denied court-ordered access to a child, the parent may bring the issue back before the court. When it is in the best interest of the child, a judge may decide to modify the visitation order, and the judge can also order makeup visitation for the time missed. There are two main types of visitation: standard and restricted.
In the State of South Carolina we utilize the Department of Social Services Guidelines, which is a formula which looks at the parents’ gross monthly income and gives parents credits for certain expenditures such as work related daycare expenses. Child support can either be paid directly from one parent to the other or through Family Court with a 5% administrative fee added to the payment.