Where Do You File for Divorce?

charleston-courthouse

Once you make the decision to end your marriage, the first question you will likely ask yourself is, “Where do I go?” Divorce is not an informal matter. It is a judicial proceeding, which means even if your spouse does not contest the divorce, you will still need to go to court.

But which court? In South Carolina, the judicial system is divided into 16 “circuits,” each encompassing two… [Continue reading]

How Fast Can You Get a Divorce?

fast-divorce

We have all heard horror stories about nasty divorce cases that take years to settle in the courts. But what about cases where the spouses agree to separate amicably and go their separate ways? Just how fast can a couple obtain a divorce from the courts?

Uncontested & No-Fault Divorces

Under South Carolina law, if nobody is legally at fault for the breakdown of the marriage—that is, neither spouse… [Continue reading]

High Value Assets in South Carolina Divorce

vacation-home

When the difficult decision to get a divorce is finally made, it’s never too early to start looking at all areas of the marriage that will ultimately demand a meeting of the minds to successfully separate, however hard these decisions might be.

This is particularly true if you have obtained high value assets like a vacation home, retirement and substantial investment accounts, or an ongoing business during… [Continue reading]

The Value of International Property In a Divorce

international-property

Valuing and dividing property in a divorce is often difficult and contentious, but when the property is located overseas, the complexities multiply.

International property may be subject to state divorce law, federal tax law and the laws and procedures of the country where the property is located.  For a couple with property in a few different countries, the tangle of international laws can make for a lengthy and expensive… [Continue reading]

Complex Property Division in Divorce

complex-property

The division of property is, aside from child custody, the most contentious issue in a divorce proceeding. When the divorcing spouses cannot reach an agreement on complex property division issues, South Carolina law requires a judge to “make a final equitable apportionment” based on several factors. Keep in mind, South Carolina courts will only apportion property acquired during the marriage and held by the couple at the time they… [Continue reading]

The Length of Your Marriage Can Affect Your Divorce

When a marriage ends after only a few years, it’s likely that both the husband and wife can become financially independent, each returning to the careers and lifestyle they had before they were married.

But when a couple has been married a long time and has raised a family together, things become more complicated.  One spouse may have worked part time – or not at all — while caring… [Continue reading]

Overview of South Carolina Divorce Adultery Laws

adultery

South Carolina law allows for divorce only if one or more of five conditions are present. The first of those conditions listed in the state’s divorce statute is adultery. The others are desertion, cruelty, drunkenness and petition following separation. Adultery is the first substantive provision in the divorce code but is only mentioned once after that, in the provision setting forth how alimony and other allowances must be awarded. Essentially, no… [Continue reading]

Removing a Father’s Rights in South Carolina

fathers-rights

Sometimes, it’s better for the child and everyone involved that the father’s rights be terminated.

But terminating a father’s parental rights is never an easy legal path to take. Some fathers seem to have good intentions, but just can’t show an ongoing ability to take care of the child. Other fathers come to be parents through an act of violence, who most everyone agrees should have no contact at… [Continue reading]

Military Divorce Differs from Regular Divorce in South Carolina

military-divorce

Thousands of United States armed forces personnel make their home in South Carolina. Unfortunately, the strain of military service, especially where one or both spouses may be deployed abroad, frequently contributes to divorce. A 2013 study by the RAND Corporation found the likelihood of divorce increased the longer a spouse was deployed to a combat zone.

Military divorces raise a number of special issues. A spouse seeking a… [Continue reading]

Who Gets to Keep the Pet After a Divorce?

family-pet

For many divorcing couples, pets are like members of the family.  Over the years, they’ve been trained, groomed, loved, taken on vacations and pampered with treats and toys.

So naturally, many people expect that they’ll be able to share custody of their pets after a divorce – just as they’d share custody of children.

But in the eyes of the law, pets aren’t treated like children.  They’re… [Continue reading]