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Mount Pleasant South Carolina Family Legal Blog

Child custody and visitation rights and the child's best interest

When South Carolina parents are no longer together in a relationship and share a child, child custody and visitation rights will be a major factor as they move on. In many instances, the couple can put their personal differences aside and negotiate a reasonable agreement as to which parent the child will live with the bulk of the time and when the other parent will have visitation rights. Other cases, however, can be more complicated with the parties wanting custody and disagreeing with how the visitation is allocated. A key factor in the determination is the best interest of the child. Knowing what the law says about best interest is integral to a case.

When assessing the child's best interest, the court can consider many issues. That includes how the child's developmental and temperamental needs are impacted; whether the parents have the capacity and ability to grasp what the child's needs are and meet them; if the child has preferences, is mature enough to express them and what they are; what the parents want regarding custody; how the child has interacted with the parents, siblings or anyone else like a grandparent who might have an influence on the child's best interests; and actions the parents take to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent.

Family law and when alimony can be modified in South Carolina

As part of a divorce settlement in South Carolina, one spouse will often be ordered to pay alimony to the other spouse. This is one of the many issues that arises in family law. It can be contentious. The paying spouse will frequently want the amount to be lower than what is ordered. The supported spouse might want the amount to be increased. Once the order is made, however, it does not necessarily mean that it will remain the same for its duration. There are circumstances in which it can be modified and terminated. Understanding when this can take place and how to go about it is an important part of the process. It requires legal assistance to cover every factor.

When there is a change in the situation of a party whether it is the paying former spouse or the receiving former spouse and their financial abilities are altered, either can ask the court to increase, decrease or terminate the payments. The court will provide both sides a chance to be heard and to give evidence that is relevant to the case. It will then make an order with consideration given to the changed circumstances and the amount that is paid and received. It can increase, decrease or confirm the current amount. The paying spouse will then be required to make the payments based on the new order.

Non-marital agreements to address property division issues

Generally speaking, people are waiting until later in life to marry. For some, this means living together for years before choosing to tie the knot. Others live together with a life partner for decades without ever marrying. However, simply because a couple chooses not to marry does not mean that they are immune to family law issues such as child custody, child support, and even property division.

Should you date before the divorce is final?

South Carolina does not grant divorces unless the couple in question meets certain conditions. Some of these grounds include adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness and desertion for a minimum of one year.

After one of these events, a couple may decide divorce is best. Both spouses need to try to be amicable and mature to get through this time quickly and efficiently. While there are no laws explicitly outlawing dating someone during a divorce, it is advisable to avoid seeing other people until you have officially separated from your spouse. 

New tax law can have serious impact on divorce

The law as it relates to family law doesn't change very often. However, when there are fluctuations, the consequences can be staggering. This is why individuals who are considering divorce need to keep up-to-date on any pending legal changes so that they can pick the time that is right for them to end their marriage.

Be prepared when facing a child custody dispute

Since child custody and visitation determinations are based on the best interests of the child in question, there are many elements that can come into play. As we discussed previously, domestic violence can play a role in a child custody dispute but so, too, can other issues. Substance abuse is a common problem that can have a negative impact on a child, and may therefore justify a child custody or visitation modification. The same holds true when a parent is emotionally abusive toward a child or he or she lacks the funds to adequately care for the child.

Of course, most parents deeply love their children, which can make child custody and visitation battles intense. What could start as an amicable discussion about an arrangement that is best for the child can quickly evolve into mudslinging where each party's dirty laundry is aired out before a judge. This usually doesn't do anyone any good, but sometimes it is necessary if those issues are directly tied to the child's best interests.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can avoid disputes

Those who are considering divorce usually try their best to prepare themselves for the battles that may await them. While some couples are able to amicably dissolve their marriages, there are usually sticking points that can turn a calm divorce settlement negotiation into a heated dispute that threatens litigation. This can leave an individual vulnerable to an unfavorable outcome that can have long-term implications.

The importance of getting paternity issues right

Many of South Carolina's children are born out of wedlock. This can have tremendous implications when it comes to family law issues like child custody, child support, and visitation. On an emotional level, most children want to know, and most children should know, their father. Men and women may want to know who a child's father is, too, so that an appropriate bond can be built.

4 tips for dividing stock options in a divorce

Property division is almost always a complex aspect of a divorce. Valuating and negotiating even simple assets can be confusing and contentious. You may have even more complicated assets, such as stock options. 

Stock options can result in significant payoffs, so you want to make sure you split them fairly. Here are a few key tips to consider when dividing stock options for your divorce:

Marital property vs. separate property in divorce process

Divorce can be an expensive endeavor. We're not talking about court costs and attorney fees, but rather the loss of financial resources often seen during marriage dissolution. Whether a South Carolina couple decides to negotiate a divorce settlement or take the matter to court and litigate, property division must be addressed. Those who don't know how property division works in South Carolina and how to make arguments to support their position can be left at a serious disadvantage. This, in turn, may result in an individual losing out on assets to which he or she may be entitled.

Make Your Appointment With Skilled Counsel

Call our office in Mount Pleasant at 843-352-4530 to make your appointment with one of our South Carolina divorce lawyers. We serve clients throughout the coastal South Carolina communities including Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Pawleys Island, Georgetown, and Hilton Head. You may email us if that is easier for you.

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EGJ Family Law

1051 Chuck Dawley Boulevard
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Phone: 843-352-4530
Fax: 843-881-0317
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