03. FAMILY LAW
Family law and divorce issues generally require a certain level of legal and financial proficiency to resolve. Whether your issues are regarding property division in a divorce, modifying child support, or adoption, you need a well-respected legal representative who is well-equipped to handle all aspects of family law.
At Moore Bradley Myers, we know that these aspects of family law not only impact you financially, they also can take an emotional toll on you and your family. That’s why our attorneys work hard to make your experience as efficient and stress-free as possible.
Divorce / Separation
Getting a divorce is a major life decision that can have a profound impact on you and your family’s lives. It is also an incredibly complex legal process that requires the assistance of a skilled legal professional. At Moore Bradley Myers, our divorce attorneys are backed by decades of experience and a long track record of securing successful results. With us, you will receive the compassionate, one-on-one attention you need at this time.
Key Issues to Consider when seeking a Divorce:
If both you and your spouse have lived in South Carolina for over three months, you can file for a divorce However, if you are filing for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must be physically living separate and apart. To obtain a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must have lived separate and apart with no cohabitation for a period of one year.
If you file for a fault-based divorce, such as physical or adultery, you can file for a divorce at any time. If your spouse is living out of state, you must be a South Carolina resident for over a year.
If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, he or she cannot prevent you from obtaining one. Assuming you meet one of the state’s statutory ground for divorce, you can move forward with your decision regardless of if your spouse agrees to the divorce or not. However, the key issues mentioned above must be resolved before finalizing the process.
If you are considering a divorce, the legal team at Moore Bradley Myers can assist you throughout this process. Our divorce attorneys have won several accolades for our exceptional achievements and many members of our team are also experienced mediators.
At Moore Bradley Myers, we know that fathers play an important role in the life of a child. Determining legal fatherhood, or paternity, can be complicated and requires a
well-respected family law attorney.
A paternity action may be brought in order to impose a child support obligation, establish a right to inheritance, gain or prohibit child custody rights or secure consent for a child's adoption or many other reasons.
There are two primary ways to establish legal fatherhood:
1) Parties can determine paternity by signing a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement agreement at the hospital after a child is born or during the life span of a child.
2) A court or administrative order is issued stating who the legal father as determined by a DNA test or other means.
Alimony & Spousal Support
A judge will consider several factors when determining whether a party is entitled to alimony or spousal support.
Below are some, but not all, factors a judge will consider when determining alimony payments:
The duration of the marriage
The ability of the dependent spouse to reenter the workforce
The overall physical and mental health of the dependent spouse
The dependent spouse’s employment history
The standard of living
Expected expenses and earnings
In addition to periodic payments and lump sum payments, there are two other forms of alimony – rehabilitation and reimbursement. Reimbursement alimony is ordered in cases where a spouse gave up the chance to pursue college or a
career to help his or her spouse obtain more education or a better career.
Rehabilitation alimony is awarded to a dependent spouse to increase earning power. For example, if vocational training will improve the dependent spouse’s ability to find a better job, a judge might award this type of alimony.
If you are planning to adopt a child or children, you need experienced representation to assist you with the legal process. At Moore Bradley Myers, our adoption attorneys have decades of experience in resolving various family law matters, including adoption. We have a comprehensive understanding of adoption laws in South Carolina and can help guide you through the process.
Custody / Visitation / Child Support
Resolving legal issues pertaining to child custody, child support, or visitation requires the guidance of an experienced attorney. With decades of experience under our belts, our attorneys can quickly and efficiently guide you throughout the legal process. We will effectively fight for the best interest of you and your child.
Child support in South Carolina is calculated using an official guideline, which considers numerous factors including the number of children and the parents’ gross income. Either parent is eligible to ask for a modification to their child
support order until the obligation doesn’t exist any longer. As is the case with child custody orders, you may seek modification to your child support upon showing a material and substantial change of circumstances. Common changes in circumstances include a change in employment status, changes in your child’s needs, and changes in your housing status.
In South Carolina, there are two types of child custody, which are known as legal custody and physical custody:
Physical custody refers to where your child will spend most of their time.
Legal custody refers to the decision-making rights a parent has over the child in matters regarding things such as welfare, education, and healthcare.
Custodial Matters for Unwed Parents:
South Carolina laws do not presume the mother is a better parent than the father. According to S.C. Code § 63-5-30, when the parents are married, both parents are assumed to have full custody over the child. Under S.C. Code § 63-17-20, if the parents are unmarried, the mother gains sole custody until paternity is established by a court order.
South Carolina is an equitable distribution state, and only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division following divorce. Property division is the process of dividing property rights and obligations between spouses during the process of a divorce. Property division may be agreed upon between the parties through a property settlement, mediation or it may be decided in court during the judicial process. Moore Bradley Myers’ family law attorneys have a thorough understanding of the process of property division, community property laws and varying kinds of marital contributions.
Post-Divorce Modification / Support Modification
In South Carolina, a divorce or support modification requires a showing of a material and substantial change of circumstances for one or both of the two parties.
Unless the parties mutually agree, the party seeking the change must file a complaint for modification. Given the importance and complexity of modification rules, Moore Bradley Myers has the experienced family court attorney you need.
In South Carolina, mediation is a critical part of the divorce process. In most cases, the parties must participate in at least three hours of mediation unless a settlement agreement is reached. A Certified Mediator works with both parties and their attorneys to help reach a settlement agreement.
We have several Certified Mediators at Moore Bradley Myers. Call today to see if one of our skilled mediators can help you in your case.
South Carolina Mediation Guidelines
While South Carolina grants a very liberal and broad freedom to enter into premarital agreements, a family court Judge may choose to disregard a prenuptial agreement if the agreement is considered unreasonable. Therefore, having a knowledgeable attorney that can guide you through the process from the beginning is critical.
Call today to see if one of our skilled family law attorneys can help.