If you are faced with an issue that can forever change the lives of both you and your family members, you might find it helpful to speak with an attorney for all your family law questions in South Carolina. For informational purposes only, the following are a few routine questions often asked to our attorneys handling family law cases.
The courts generally recognize four fault-based grounds for divorce, which are desertion, physical cruelty, adultery, and habitual drug and/or alcohol abuse. Additionally, there is one ground that is not based on a person’s fault, and that is commonly known as “Living Separate and Apart for One Year without Cohabitation.” Any family law attorney can tell you that in order for an individual to get a divorce, he or she must prove at least one of the above-mentioned grounds with legally-adequate evidence.
In the state of South Carolina, the Family Court handles divorce actions. Each county has its own Family Court, and divorce actions are tried in the county where the defendant lives at the start of the action or the county in which the parties last lived together. You should note that if the defendant is not a resident of South Carolina, then the action can be heard in the county where the plaintiff lives.
While many lawyers have a specific fee for an uncontested divorce, the fee for most divorces depends on the amount of time a lawyer and staff must spend working on the case. This will depend on whether the case is contested and whether there are issues of custody, support and property division. In certain cases, the court can order one spouse to pay all or part of the other spouse’s legal fees and related expenses. Your attorney will discuss the fees with you during the initial meeting.
Of primary concern to the court is what’s in the best interest of the child or children involved; however, there are a number of additional factors that the court might take into consideration when granting custody, some of which are the following: issues of domestic violence; religious beliefs; who has been the child’s main caregiver; the preferences of the child (where appropriate); the parents’ fitness, character and attitude; any agreements made by the parties (if there are any), and much more. It is recommended that you speak with a family law attorney who is knowledgeable in the intricate details that are often involved with family law.
To discuss your legal options, contact us or call our office at (843) 667.0400.