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Representing yourself in your divorce? Here’s help.

If you’d like to handle your own divorce or have child support set or modified, the South Carolina judicial department has forms available to help. Filing for your divorce The judicial department has provided forms and instructions for self-represented litigants in South Carolina.  The judicial website is www.sccourts.org.  From the judicial department home page, under [..]

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Student loan debt acquired during a marriage

While South Carolina has not specifically ruled on the question of whether student loans incurred by a spouse during the marriage are marital or non-marital, our general provisions regarding the allocation of debt during equitable distribution can and should apply. As restated by our Court of Appeals in Barrow v. Barrow, 394 S.C. 603, 716 [..]

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What to do when your child is arrested

First, know that the best thing you can do for your child is to get him or her a good attorney. The Public Defenders’ Offices in South Carolina are a good place to start, if you cannot afford an attorney for your child. If you do not qualify financially for an appointed attorney, you will [..]

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Enforcing Visitation When the Children Refuse: What’s a Parent to Do?

The recent case of Noojin v. Noojin, decided by the South Carolina Court of Appeals in July 2016 provides guidelines for custodial parents whose child is protesting visitation with the non-custodial parent. The mother in Noojin was found to be in contempt of court for failing to facilitate visitation with the children’s father and acquiescing [..]

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Rights of Biological Parents vs. Third Parties (like grandparents)

Generally, there is a presumption in favor of a biological parent having custody of his or her child. The South Carolina Supreme Court has long recognized a biological parent’s superior rights over those of third parties with regard to custody, in the absence of a showing that the biological parent is unfit. Kay v. Rowland, [..]

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Factors considered in awarding alimony

There are 13 statutory factors the court must consider in awarding alimony. South Carolina Code § 20-3-130 provides: (A) In proceedings for divorce from the bonds of matrimony, and in actions for separate maintenance and support, the court may grant alimony or separate maintenance and support in such amounts and for such term as the [..]

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Lump Sum Alimony is Non-Modifiable

It is important if you are considering a settlement agreement that includes a provision for lump sum alimony that you are aware of the non-modifiable nature of lump sum alimony. In fact, the family court will not have the jurisdiction to modify even the payment structure of lump sum alimony, even if there is a [..]

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Relocation after Divorce

Often, in our increasingly mobile society, people want to relocate after a divorce. The issue becomes more complicated where children are involved. South Carolina Code § 63-3-530(3) provides that a family court may not issue an order that prohibits a custodial parent from moving his residence to a location within the State unless the court [..]

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Termination of Parental Rights

There are many grounds for termination of parental rights in South Carolina. In private termination of parental rights actions, I most commonly have been confronted with a parent’s failure to support or visit his or her child. In South Carolina, a parent’s parental rights can be terminated if a parent willfully fails to support their [..]

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Marital property vs. Non-marital property

Marital property is property that was (1) acquired during the marriage; and (2) owned as of the date of filing or the beginning of marital litigation. S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-630. Non-marital property is property that is (1) acquired by either party by inheritance or gift from a party other than the spouse; (2) is [..]

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