Areas of Practice

DIVORCE

 

At the beginning of any separation process, it is important to gather information before you take action. Divorce has far-reaching consequences, and South Carolina Family Law may be hard to understand if you are not a lawyer. We ask that you not take legal advice from non-lawyers or listen to your friends’ experiences. This is not in your best interest. EGJ Family law urges you to contact us to learn the law, consider your legal options and begin planning for your separation and divorce.

 

What is it like to go through a divorce?

 

Our efforts to resolve your case are based on your family, your financial goals and your values. We listen to you as you discuss your marriage, children, and goals for your life. Some common priorities from our clients include

 

  • Protecting the emotional well-being of children, both now and for the longer-term.
  • Emerging from the divorce with the best possible property settlement.
  • Ensuring any child support and alimony/spousal support orders are fair.
  • Resolving the case as an uncontested divorce—as quickly and affordably as possible.

 

We can help you weigh the pros and cons of pursuing a “fault” based action if your spouse’s conduct has given you grounds for divorce. We will help you evaluate whether developing a separation agreement is right for you. Among our strengths is a strong track record of resolving difficult issues through mediation.

 

Contact Emily G. Johnston at EGJ Family Law 843.881.6866.

MEDIATION

 

Attorney Emily G. Johnston is a certified family court mediator in South Carolina. She frequently receives referrals from other attorneys who know and respect her ability to act as a neutral to help couples reach common sense solutions to their problems. We always consider methods to avoid spending more than necessary to help you solve your domestic problems and protect your future. In many cases, mediation saves money, time and stress for everyone involved. The EGJ Family Law Firm has an excellent track record of resolving disputed issues in divorce through mediation. We can offer alternative dispute resolutions which means a relatively efficient and even amicable and uncontested divorce.

 

Discussion and Negotiation in a Neutral and Productive Setting

 

Working through difficult issues such as child custody, visitation and marital property division in mediation can have many benefits including

 

  • Substantially reduced costs
  • Minimizing damage to important relationship in your life
  • Achievement of fair outcomes

 

At EGJ Family Law we settle most of our divorce cases through mediation, though we also have extensive trial experience to represent you aggressively and effectively if your case is brought to trial in Family Court. If you are seeking a lawyer who is qualified as a mediator and litigator, please contact Emily G. Johnston at EGJ Family law today: 843.881.6866.

CUSTODY & CHILD SUPPORT

 

If you are separating or divorcing with children, you know that your life is headed for change.

 

Understanding Child Support Guidelines

 

South Carolina has statewide guidelines for determining how much child support a non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay. Major factors in the two formulas—one for sole custody and one for joint (shared) custody—include

 

  • The number of children requiring support
  • The incomes of each parent
  • Health Insurance and work related child care costs

 

Protecting your rights when deviations can occur

 

Our child support guidelines are easy to calculate, but there are some instances where a simple guideline cannot predict the outcome. Certain circumstances justify a deviation from the basic guidelines. These may include special needs of children, obligations to support other children, or issues involving income calculations. In addition to helping you forecast child support, EGJ Family Law also develops outcomes for high income families where the guideline may not apply. We handle divorce, mediation and litigation for people throughout the Charleston and Lowcountry areas. EGJ Family Law assists people who need help with child support modifications and enforcement. Contact us today at 843.881.6866 for a consultation about your divorce and child support issues.

ALIMONY & SPOUSAL SUPPORT

 

Unlike child support, the amount of alimony in South Carolina is not governed by state guidelines. Also known as spousal support, alimony is awarded to one spouse based on a number of factors considered by the family court judge.

 

If you expect alimony or expect to pay alimony, the knowledge and experience of your attorney is critical. This is one of the most difficult areas in family law. We work to protect your interests. If your spouse earns a higher income than you do and or you do not have the ability to support yourself, we assess your case for spousal support. Many factors may be considered, including

 

  • How long you were married, and the ages and health of you and your spouse
  • The education, work history and earning potential of each spouse
  • Any misconduct or fault constituting grounds for divorce (adultery is a complete bar to alimony in South Carolina)

 

At EGJ Family Law, we educate our clients about short-term and long-term (or permanent periodic) alimony and/or spousal support.

 

Attorney Emily G. Johnston holds an MBA. We have years of relationships in the community to assist us in presenting a strong financial case. In many cases, it may be possible to demonstrate that your spouse has greater earning capacity than claimed. In other cases, we consider rehabilitative maintenance (higher payments over a shorter time) as an alternative to long-term alimony, or propose a settlement that does not burden you with a lifelong obligation if you are the paying spouse.

 

If spousal support or alimony is an issue in your divorce or you believe you have cause to seek a modification of the order of alimony we encourage you to contact EGJ Family Law today: 843.881.6866.