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The Family Court system in South Carolina handles multiple types of cases, including divorce, child support or spousal support cases, modifications of previous orders, and child custody disputes. The family courts in our state handle only family law matters, not criminal cases, breach of contract, personal injury, or other matters unrelated to the marital or family relationship.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you need to file a lawsuit in Family Court, or you are named as a respondent in a family law case, a family lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton could advocate for you and work relentlessly to get you the justice you deserve. Our family law attorneys understand how stressful litigation can be, and we treat our clients like family.

The Importance of Responsive, Caring Family Law Attorneys on Your Family Law Case

South Carolina law consists of case law and statutes. These sources of law have become so complicated over the past 20 years that it is best to hire a family law attorney for your Family Court case.

If a person practices another field of law, not family law, they are unlikely to be able to stay current on the legal developments in this specialty. If your spouse hires a lawyer who focuses their practice on family law, and you select someone who does not, you are likely to be at a disadvantage.

The field of divorce law can be contentious and cutthroat. Here at Schiller & Hamilton, we can handle what opposing counsel throws our way but treat our clients with kindness. We are responsive. We update our clients regularly on the status of their cases, answer their questions, and respond promptly to their emails and telephone calls.

What Is a Modification?

A person files a Motion for Modification when something significant happens, and they need to have the previous order, like a divorce decree, changed. The most present evidence of the facts that establish a substantial change of circumstances that are expected to last for a long time. “A long time” will be a judgment call based on the issue in question.

For example, your boss requires you to transfer to another city 100 miles from your current location. The custody and visitation arrangement will need to change for the children’s best interest. Also, there could be an impact on the amount of child support because of travel costs and other expenses related to your relocation. You would need to file a motion to modify and ask the court to change the previous arrangements.

No-Fault Divorce

No-fault divorce is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce. In a no-fault divorce, the parties separated for at least one year before either party filed for a divorce in South Carolina.

The law in our state also allows a person to seek a somewhat quicker divorce based on marital misconduct, like adultery, abandonment, habitual drunkenness, and physical cruelty, as the South Carolina Bar explains. Mental or emotional cruelty does not constitute grounds for divorce in our state.

Can You Settle the Terms of Your Divorce or Other Family Court Disputes?

Spouses can negotiate and settle any or all issues in their divorce or other Family Court matter. The court must approve the terms of their settlement agreement. However, if the terms seem fair to the parties and in the children’s best interest, a judge usually approves the agreement.

Typically, it is better to resolve as many issues as possible to save money on your legal fees and have some control over the future rather than letting a total stranger, the judge, make those decisions. Sometimes, the spouses can cooperate. The lawyers might need to address specific issues and negotiate with each other on behalf of their clients.

Issues the Family Court Can Address in a Divorce

The Family Court will deal with the question of whether the parties are eligible to get a divorce. The judge will explore whether the parties met South Carolina’s requirements about residency, time of separation, and grounds for the divorce.

Other issues the court can address include:

  • Who gets physical custody of the children. Sometimes, the court will award primary physical custody to one parent and visitation to the other. In other situations, the parents will share physical custody.
  • Legal custody of the children. Legal custody refers to who gets to make certain decisions about the children. Usually, the parent the children are physically with at the moment makes their daily decisions during their parenting time. The parents typically must discuss major issues, like education, medical care, and religion, with the other parent.
  • The court will establish a schedule of parenting time, whether the parents share custody, or one has primary custody, and the other has visitation.
  • The court will order one parent to pay child support to the other in a specific monthly amount. The calculation will include the gross income of both parents, the cost of health insurance for the children, the number of nights the children spend with each parent, and various expenses.
  • If one parent is to receive spousal support, the court will specify the amount and duration of that support. This is called alimony or maintenance under S.C. Ann. § 20-3-10 and the following statutes.
  • The court will set aside to each party their separate property and distribute the marital property. Frequently, parties can dispute whether the property is marital or separate and the value of some of the items in question. The judge will deal with the marital residence, debts, and financial accounts, including retirement accounts and pensions.

Call Us Today – Our Family Lawyer Can Review Your Legal Options

You do not have to go through your family court case on your own. A family lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton would be glad to talk to you. If we handle your family law matter, you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion by our hardworking family attorneys.

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