Long after your divorce has finalized, there is a chance that issues surrounding spousal support, child custody, and other crucial matters might arise. The ongoing nature of such issues could make your divorce feel like it was never finalized. If you are currently dealing with issues arising from a divorce or another family situation, then it might high time you sought the services of a professional, compassionate, and experienced Easley family law attorney from Hernandez & Cabra.
If you need help with matters related to family law in Easley, South Carolina, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Hernandez & Cabra for professional legal assistance. Call 864-501-4384 now to schedule a no-obligation meeting with our legal team today and have your case reviewed for free.
What Qualifies as a Family Law Case?
Family law cases are essentially civil cases that involve issues between/concerning spouses, parents, and children. Here’s a look at the most common family law cases the Easley family law attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra handle:
Contested and Uncontested Divorce
If ending your union is in your best interests as a couple, then having a professional family law attorney from Hernandez & Cabra represent your interests can help smooth out and speed up the divorce process – be it you are seeking a contested or uncontested divorce – allowing you to reach successful resolution faster.
Parental Rights, Child Support, and Child Custody
Child support, child custody, and parental rights are some of the most contentious issues to deal with in divorce cases as they typically harm the family unit, especially the children. At Hernandez & Cabra, we always do our best to ensure that we find a solution that best suits your children’s interests.
Alimony Agreements and Spousal Support
Separating from your spouse can be a challenging and particularly difficult time especially if the separation leaves you with the responsibility of shouldering the financial burdens that you previously shared with them. The family law attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra can help protect your interests in spousal support be it you’re seeking support from it or defending a claim against it.
Legal Name Changes
Names are what give us a sense of identity. In most cases, most people will retain their first name – the name they were given at birth. However, for women, a change of their last name is usually generally associated with divorce or marriage.
Nevertheless, there are a few instances when name changes become important to a family or individual. Sadly though, the legal process of changing your name can sometimes be confusing and may even involve different requirements depending on your situation. If you want to legally change your name for whatever reason, now is the best time to seek the legal counsel and help of a professional family law attorney from Hernandez & Cabra.
Protecting abuse victims is always a top priority and getting a restraining order against abusive partners can help provide those abused some sense of protection. If you, your child, or a minor in your custody are victims of sexual, verbal, or physical abuse or harassment, then get in touch with us as soon as possible and let us help you get the protection you need.
DSS Cases & Adoption
In South Carolina, the DSS or Department of Social Services is responsible for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. If you or your partner are being investigated by the department, you may need to get in touch with an experienced family law attorney for legal counsel throughout the investigation and to ensure that your rights are protected.
Our attorneys also help parents looking to adopt a child in South Carolina.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, couples seeking divorce can choose to file their divorce on either no-fault grounds or fault grounds. Grounds for divorce in South Carolina include:
- Physical abuse
- A spouse regularly being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- No-fault (living apart for at least a year).
In South Carolina, either party seeking divorce must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce, or both parties must have lived in the state for at least 3 months. The parties must also have been separated for 1-year before divorce is granted. When filing for divorce in the state, you are free to file in either the county you live in or where your estranged spouse lives.
How Do You Start the Divorce Process?
The divorce process formally begins when you, the plaintiff, hire an attorney and have them draft a complaint that states your grounds for filing for divorce and the relief you want. Your attorney then files the complaint with the state’s family court and has a process server or sheriff deliver the summons and complaint to your estranged spouse, who has 30 days to respond to the complaint and request a counterclaim if they need to.
In the event your spouse files a counterclaim, then you get another 30 days to respond. It is worth noting that the initial process of starting the divorce process can take up to 3 months.
How Does the Division of Property Work in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, marital assets are divided via equitable distribution, meaning that the family court tries to divide marital assets equitably and fairly between the warring spouses. It’s worth noting that during this process, the court will take into consideration multiple factors to determine how to equitably distribute assets between each spouse.
South Carolina law defines marital property as property that’s been acquired or is a direct result of the investments and labor of both parties while married. According to state laws, this property will always be subject to equitable division – that doesn’t mean that the property is divided equally, rather, it’s divided in such a way that results in an equitable or fair result for both parties.
When dividing marital property, the family court in Easley considers the following things:
- Each spouse’s economic and financial circumstance
- Each spouse’s share of the marital property
- The value of their marital property
- Whether each estranged partner will support minor children
- The conduct of each of the estranged spouses including marital misconduct
Non-marital property, i.e., property acquired by either one of the spouses before marriage or any property acquired by either spouse and not intended to be marital property isn’t subject to division.
How is Child Custody Decided?
Family law in South Carolina allows parents to determine child visitation and custody by agreement and without the intervention of the Court – but that’s as long as the parents agree to reach an agreement on amicable terms. If you and your estranged partner aren’t able to reach an agreement, then the court will take into account several factors based on the child’s best interests. Some of the factors the court takes into consideration include:
- Which of the child’s parents is most likely to allow the other to maintain and develop a relationship with the child!
- Each of the spouse’s economic and social circumstances
- The child’s welfare
- The religious faith of the child and parents
If you are currently battling your spouse over custody of your child or have just been separated and would like to get custody of your son or daughter, then get in touch with us at Hernandez & Cabra for professional and sound legal counsel and representation.
What is Alimony and How is it Decided?
Alimony is a court-ordered provision of financial support to a spouse after divorce. The laws that govern alimony, which is also known as spousal support, vary from state to state with some courts having substantial flexibility on some cases when determining whether to grant alimony, how much to award, and for how long the defendant will make alimony payments.
In South Carolina, during the divorce process or after it’s been finalized, the court may decide to award alimony or separate support and maintenance of a specified amount for a specified period. Support or alimony may be ordered for an indefinite or definite period.
Some of the things that the court considers when making its decision include each spouse’s financial resources i.e., each of the spouse’s separate estates, if each spouse can cater to their needs without relying on the other, and if each spouse had children before their union.
The main goal of most alimony payments is the upkeep of the standards of living that were established during the marriage. As a result, the job market, job skills, and earning ability of each spouse’s profession are prioritized during the decision-making process. The time required to obtain the education or training required to increase the dependent partner’s earning ability to the point they can sustain the standard of living they were used to is also considered when deciding how long the alimony will last.
Child support and custody of children are also considered by the court as it determines how much the independent party should pay in alimony. If the person with custody of the children cannot support themselves due to conditions that make it hard for them to aptly support them, like having to stay home to take care of them, then that would also influence how much money in alimony he or she will receive.
Get in Touch with the Professional Easley Family Law Attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra!
The divorce period can be stressful and quite overwhelming. Considering all the issues that could arise as a result of your separation, you really should consider retaining the services of our family law attorneys and let us guide and help you through the process and any other issues that might arise along the way.
The family law attorneys at Hernandez & Cabra have years of experience handling divorce, child custody, marital property division, alimony, and other cases involving family law and can help you. Call 864-501-4384 now to speak to a professional family law attorney for the legal help and representation you need in Easley, South Carolina.