Columbia Family Lawyer
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With 12 years of combined experience, The Laubshire Law Firm, LLC has the professional and knowledgeable attorneys you need in your family law case. Work with two former prosecutors to build your case, whether you are involved in divorce, child custody, alimony, or domestic violence proceedings.
Visitation in South Carolina
Each parent of a child is entitled to visits, also called “parenting time,” regardless of whether that parent has legal and/or physical custody. South Carolina mandates that a noncustodial parent receive a minimum amount of visitation unless that parent’s parental rights have been terminated. Minimum visitation will typically grant a parent one weeknight visit and overnight visits every other weekend. Parents may reach their own custody agreements as long as the terms serve a child’s best interests. Parents who are not able to reach a custody agreement will have to attend a trial on custody.
Supervised visitation is a specific type of visitation that requires a neutral third-party to oversee all visits between a parent and a child. In South Carolina, judges typically order supervised visits when a child is not safe in one parent’s care, but it is in the child’s best interests to maintain contact between them and the abusive parent. A judge may lift the supervision restriction, though, when it becomes clear that the child is safe and secure in the parent’s care.
Types of Alimony
South Carolina law provides for the following types of alimony, depending on the couple’s circumstances:
- Alimony pendente lite – “pendente lite” refers to temporary alimony during the divorce process; it is common for one spouse to need financial support while the divorce is pending.
- Periodic alimony – the court may order a spouse to pay periodic support (usually monthly), meant to be short-term and lasting only as long as the supported spouse needs to become financially independent.
- Lump-sum alimony – the judge may order the paying spouse to make one full payment or installments over a short period.
- Rehabilitative alimony – the most common type of alimony, rehabilitative support is for the supported spouse to receive financial help while attending school or acquiring job skills to reenter the workforce and become financially independent.
- Reimbursement alimony – allows a spouse to recoup the money spent on the other spouse’s career, education, or earning abilities either under one payment or payments in a few installments over time.
- Separate maintenance – when the couple doesn’t want to divorce but is no longer living together in a marriage-like relationship.
When deciding the type, amount, and duration of alimony, judges in South Carolina consider the following factors:
- duration of the marriage;
- the ages of each spouse at the time of the marriage and divorce;
- the physical and emotional condition of each spouse;
- both spouse’s educational background and the need for additional training to achieve the spouse’s income potential;
- the employment history and earning potential of each spouse;
- the current and anticipated earnings of both spouses;
- the current and anticipated expenses and needs of each spouse;
- marital and nonmarital property awards to each spouse during the divorce;
- whether either spouse is the custodial parent to a child whose circumstances make it difficult for the parent to seek work outside of the home or full-time work;
- tax consequences to each spouse;
- marital misconduct or fault;
- whether either spouse is court-ordered to support another spouse or a child.
Domestic Violence Laws
In South Carolina, the crime known as domestic violence involves someone causing, threatening to cause, or attempting to cause harm or injury to a household member while being apparently able to carry out the threat or attempted harm. Household members include spouses, former spouses, people who have children together, and individuals who live together or have lived together.
South Carolina law punishes more severely certain acts of domestic violence. Domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature occurs when the defendant commits:
- an assault or battery against a household member with a deadly weapon or that causes serious injury; or
- an assault (a threat or attempt at injury) with or without the accompanying battery (actual touching that causes injury or harm) that reasonably causes imminent fear of serious injury or death.
A deadly weapon is an object that is usually used for the infliction of injury, such as a gun. Note that some objects like hunting rifles and knives are deadly weapons only when they are used with the intent to commit a crime. Great bodily injury refers to an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent disfigurement or sustained impairment, such as a broken neck or a gunshot wound to the chest.
Individuals may seek protection orders for themselves or on behalf of a minor child that prohibits the allegedly abusive or violent household member from contacting or coming near them. If the petitioner shows an immediate and present danger of bodily injury, the court may even hold an emergency hearing within 24 hours to issue a protection order prohibiting the defendant from going to the petitioner’s residence or place of work or another location.
Call (803) 220-0956 for Legal Counsel Immediately
Whether you are facing divorce, child custody, alimony, or domestic violence issues, contact an experienced family lawyer for legal support. Our team at The Laubshire Law Firm, LLC can assess the facts of your situation and help build a strong case for you in the courtroom and negotiations room. Put knowledge and experience on your side with our firm.