Lancaster County Divorce Attorney
A divorce is a complex legal process that can take an emotional toll on the parties involved. Anyone contemplating divorce must choose an advocate who will protect his or her legal rights and secure the best outcome possible. Lancaster County divorce attorney, David W. Martin provides experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to anyone contemplating a divorce in Lancaster County. If you’re considering a South Carolina divorce, contact our office and schedule a review of your case.
South Carolina Divorce Basics
Divorce laws vary from state to state and follow different methods for the dissolution of marriage. South Carolina is an “at-fault” state when it comes to divorce. Anyone who wants to apply for the immediate dissolution of marriage in the state must show that the other spouse committed one of the following:
- Habitual drunkenness
- Physical violence or cruelty
If none of these apply, South Carolina residents must apply for a no-fault divorce. A person may only qualify for this divorce when he or she lives apart from a spouse for at least one year.
Regardless of the grounds for divorce, each couple will have to make important decisions regarding division of property and assets, alimony, child custody, and support. These decisions vary depending on each family’s personal situation, but South Carolina law does provide some guidance on the subject.
Division of Property
South Carolina is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to property division. This means that the couple must divide the marital property in a way that’s equitable and fair, but this doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. A couple must split assets and debts in a manner that’s fair. Generally, it’s best for couples to divide property in mediation instead of going in front of a judge.
In some cases, one spouse may pay the other alimony, or spousal support. The purpose of alimony is to provide an opportunity for a non-earning spouse to complete job training, school or enter the workforce. A judge will consider several factors when determining eligibility for spousal support, including:
- The length of the marriage.
- The fault of either spouse in dissolution of marriage.
- The educational background of each spouse.
- The marital dynamic – i.e., did one spouse earn the money and the other raise the children?
- The current and future expenses of the non-earning spouse.
- Earning potential of each spouse.
Alimony payments, if awarded, are not permanent. A judge will view alimony as a short-term solution to help one spouse recover from the divorce financially.
Custody and Child Support
The custody arrangement of minor children and payment of child support are often the most contentious aspects of a divorce proceeding. South Carolina law assumes that children benefit from a relationship with both parents, unless proven otherwise (for example, from abuse or neglect). On the other hand, there is usually one custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent pays child support. Couples can work out a custody arrangement with the help of a divorce attorney and/or mediator. Litigation should be a last resort, as this may lead to an undesirable outcome for both parties.
Choosing a Lancaster County Divorce Attorney
A good divorce attorney represents a client’s rights, keeps him or her informed throughout the process, and take steps to address contentious aspects of a divorce through alternative dispute resolution. David W. Martin offers experienced legal counsel to couples living throughout Lancaster County, including Fort Mill, Newport, and Rock Hill.
If you’re considering a divorce, contact the office of David W. Martin Attorney at Law, LLC. Let us help you understand your legal options and streamline your divorce proceeding, so you can begin your new life. Schedule a review of your legal options today.