Answering Your Common Family Law Questions
Every family faces unique challenges. Sometimes, professional legal counsel is necessary to overcome those challenges.
Although family conflicts can be overwhelming, Sligh Law Firm, is committed to helping you resolve them. Our lawyers can give you the answers you need to make informed choices. Call 843-919-7747 or email our office in Conway for a consultation.
Do I need to provide a reason to divorce my spouse?
South Carolina allows spouses to get a divorce as long as one party alleges that the other party is at “fault” for the divorce or both parties have been living separately for at least one year. Possible situations to seek an at-fault divorce include cheating, domestic violence, abandonment and alcohol or substance abuse. However, if a spouse creates one of these situations solely for the purpose of getting a divorce, the court could reject the request.
How long does the divorce process take?
In addition to the one-year separation period for no-fault divorces, it can take up to one additional year to complete the divorce process. Most divorces take only a few months to resolve, but courts must resolve divorce cases in a timely fashion within a year unless special circumstances call for an extension. Your attorney can suggest methods to speed up the process, such as negotiating property division outside of court.
How will the judge decide who has custody of our child?
When determining child custody, the judge will pay attention to several matters, such as:
- The child’s medical and educational needs
- The safety of the child, which may involve domestic violence, neglect or substance abuse
- The child’s preferences, when appropriate
- The parents’ abilities to be closely involved in the child’s life
Parents must first propose a parenting plan to the court. If the plan matches the child’s best interests according to the above factors, the judge will likely approve it. The law does not give preference to mothers or fathers based solely on gender in custody disputes.
If I remarry, will I still receive child support and alimony?
If you are receiving child support or alimony due to a prior divorce or breakup, those payments could potentially end or decrease upon your remarriage. In fact, it could even end or decrease if you and a new partner move in together. The implication is that your new spouse would be able to offer financial support for yourself and your children.
However, this is not always the case. South Carolina courts consider all circumstances of blended families, including the earning capacity of the new spouse and additional stepchildren. In some cases, support payments may not change significantly. It is important to work with an attorney who can highlight your financial needs and resources to get a fair outcome.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Every situation is different.