Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island Divorce Lawyers

(843) 314-4202

The rate of divorce has increased over the years, and much of it has to do with social acceptance of it. Social acceptance, however, does not make the dissolution of a marriage in Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island any easier. When a marriage ends, you have decisions you need to make that will affect your future and the future of any children you may share with your ex-spouse. Getting the right information can help you make informed decisions. 

At Hopkins Law Firm, our divorce lawyers know you have questions. We help you understand your rights and responsibilities during this particularly difficult time. You do not have to endure a divorce alone. Get answers to your questions today and contact us online or at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a Consultation.

Uncontested and Contested Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island Divorces

The divorce process is dependent in part on whether it's contested or not. Uncontested divorces can move along rather quickly when the divorcing couple agrees on property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. When one spouse challenges any of these matters, the divorce becomes contested. 

The process will proceed to trial unless the soon-to-be ex-spouses can come to an agreement. Sometimes mediation or another alternative dispute resolution process may be used to help them come to that agreement. 

What Are Grounds For Divorce in South Carolina?

In most states, you do not have to show fault in order to get a divorce. Most divorces today, in fact, are no-fault divorces. There are, however, some divorces where one spouse must or prefer –– for strategic reasons –– to show fault. 

According to South Carolina law divorce can be pursued in our state in two different ways.

The first option is filing for a fault divorce, which means there must be proof of wrongdoing by either or both spouses that breach the marital contract.

Fault divorces require the marriage's dissolution to be based on one of the following civil offenses:

  • Adultery
  • Domestic violence also called physical cruelty
  • Desertion for one year
  • Habitual drunkenness, including that caused by alcohol, or the use of any narcotic drug

If you are filing for a fault-based divorce, you must first file for a summons and complaint about divorce.

It then takes between 30 and 60 days to file an answer to the complaint and any counterclaims.

You may request a final hearing on fault-based grounds 90 days after you initially file for divorce in South Carolina.

Since divorce proceedings are unique to each couple, the exact time it takes to file for a fault divorce can range from a few months to a year, depending on how quickly paperwork is filed and if the divorce is contested.

Next, spouses may pursue divorce under the “no-fault” statute where neither spouse must admit or prove he or she was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.

If the dissolution is legally no one's fault, the spouses must live separately for one year before they can proceed with their divorce in South Carolina. However, during that time, you will want to outline the details of your divorce using a comprehensive and legally-binding separation agreement to protect your future.

This agreement will allow you to determine details regarding property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support matters until the divorce meets its eligibility for finalization.

No matter how it begins, divorce is almost always a painful and difficult process for all parties involved. We understand that it's a trying time for you and your children, and our South Carolina family law team at David W. Martin Law Group is here to help.

Whether your divorce is an at-fault or no-fault situation, we can help you and your family attain the best possible outcome available for your unique circumstances.

Property Division

Property division is a key part of any divorce and involves marital property. Marital property is property acquired or obtained during the marriage as opposed to separate property that the spouse had prior to the marriage. 

Types of marital property include:

  • Real estate 
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment property
  • Vehicles, boats
  • Furniture
  • Artwork
  • Pensions
  • Securities
  • Retirement accounts
  • Debt 

There are two ways this property is split, and it depends on your jurisdiction:

  1. Community property where assets are split 50-50; and
  2. Equitable distribution where assets are divided fairly and not necessarily equally.

Spousal Support in South Carolina

Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is not awarded as often as it was in the past. Its purpose is to make sure the divorce does not result in an unfair economic situation for the dependent spouse. The couple can agree to alimony or the court can order it. Decisions about alimony are made based on many factors, but the more common factors include:

  • Age
  • Health (physical, mental, emotional)
  • Education
  • Potential to earn
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Difference between earning capacities

Child Custody in South Carolina

Child custody is one of the most contentious areas of a divorce. It's highly emotional and can cause serious bitterness. Courts prefer both parents partaking in a child's life and, as such, accommodate joint custody, which includes physical and legal custody. In some situations, one parent may have sole custody while the other may have visitation rights. Courts determine child custody based on what is in the child’s best interest.

Child Support in South Carolina

Both parents are required to provide financial support for their children. When a parent has primary custody and the financial circumstances require it, the court may order child support. Most courts will use a child support calculator to help determine the amount. 

Contact a South Carolina Divorce Lawyer Today

There's a lot to consider when you are going through a divorce. The decisions made during this time will impact you and your family's life for quite a while. It's important to get guidance from a South Carolina divorce lawyer who will advocate for you and your family.

We serve the entire state of South Carolina, but routinely handle cases in Andrews, Beaufort, Conway, Charleston, Georgetown, Goose Creek, Hanahan, James Island, Johns Island, Kingstree, Ladson, Moncks Corner, Mount Pleasant, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston, North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Summerville, Surfside Beach, and Walterboro. 

Contact us online or call us directly at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a Consultation.

Principled. Practical. Personal.

When you have to go to court, you want to know your lawyer will fight for you so you get the best possible outcome. Here at Hopkins Law Firm, our team of personal injury, family law, and criminal defense lawyers has the experience and insights needed to help you present your best case. Our team has helped many clients to protect their future. With locations in Charleston, Pawleys Island, and Myrtle Beach, we can make sure you get the counsel you need anywhere in South Carolina.