South Carolina Domestic Law
At the Law Offices of Ken Lester & Associates in Columbia, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach, we work hard to prepare our clients for what lies ahead. Here are some of the questions we frequently hear during initial consultations and our answers.
Contact the Law Offices of Ken Lester & Associates for your family law issues
When you are dealing with divorce, separation, child custody, child support, or alimony issues, let us be your stabilizing force. We guide you through the legal process so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. Call us at 803-252-4700 or complete the online form to schedule your initial consultation.
Serving South Carolina with offices in Columbia, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach
What proof is required to show grounds for South Carolina divorce? Outside proof is normally necessary in addition to the testimony of the suing party. For instance, to show physical abuse, you might want to obtain a doctor's statement that he tended to your bruises as a result of a beating. It might be enough to bring forward witnesses who heard your screams and can testify if this coincides with the times and dates of the beatings. To prove adultery, photos of the spouse and lover holding hands or embracing or entering an apartment or motel are corroborative. To prove drunkenness, codeine bottles or canceled checks to liquor stores or tapes of drunken conversations or photos of empty liquor bottles all lined up are corroborative. Sometimes the judge does not require corroborative evidence if he is thoroughly convinced there is no collusion, that is, that the parties conspired to fake grounds for divorce.
Do I need to hire a private detective to prove grounds for divorce? If you cannot afford to hire a private detective, you must be your own detective and be on the lookout to acquire the proof you and your attorney need. (Be aware your spouse's attorney probably said the same thing.) Upon request, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ken Lester & Associates will recommend a detective agency, but you must deal directly with them. Often, our clients have told us it was the best investment they have ever made.
Can I date while my South Carolina divorce is pending? We strongly recommend our clients do not date during the pendency of any divorce action. We believe that even innocent dating can unduly give evidence to the other side. A trial judge might have a "where there's smoke, there's fire" attitude and add unnecessary complications to the case.
My ex is behind on alimony and child support. What recourse do I have? You can go to the court clerk’s office in the court that ordered child support and request the clerk issue a garnishment against the supporting parent’s wages. To do this, you need to know your ex’s place of employment, address, and Social Security number. If your ex is at least one month behind, the court sends a garnishment to the employer and the support will be taken out of his or her paycheck. You could also go after your ex’s property, but this is a longer process and might not be as satisfying, since cars and homes are often leased and mortgaged. Another option is to file for contempt and get an order to show cause why the payments are not being made. This puts your ex back in court. A skilled family law attorney can review the options with you and guide you to the best solution for your needs.
I am the custodial parent. Can I deny visitation? The purpose of visitation rights is for children of a divorced couple to understand they have two parents who are entitled to love their children and be loved in return. If the children come back from a weekend with their non-custodial parent and are upset or tell you they do not want to go anymore, that is not reason to deny visitation unless their health and welfare are endangered by the visitation. If you are having a disagreement with your ex or harbor ill feelings, that is not reason to deny visitation. However, the noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation. That means if he or she wants to see your child in the middle of the night or is drunk or stoned, you do not have to permit visitation. Be aware that if you deny visitation, your spouse could file a petition for modification.
I have been divorced for a while and would like to change some of the provisions in the divorce decree. If my ex and I agree, would the changes be valid? After your South Carolina divorce, you might find it necessary or desirable to modify one or more of the stipulations in your divorce decree, property settlement, or custody and support arrangements. You must follow proper procedure if you want that modification or set of modifications to be valid and must show a change in circumstance. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ken Lester & Associates can work with you to ensure your desired changes proceed through the judicial process appropriately.
How much will child support be and how is it determined? The South Carolina Child Support Guidelines dictate the amount of support for the non-custodial parent to pay. The guidelines take many factors into consideration, focusing especially on each parent's income, the number of children and the costs of daycare and health insurance.
Contact any of our family law offices in South Carolina for the effective representation you need and deserve to resolve your legal issues.
Throughout this difficult time, we are the stabilizing force you need to answer your divorce and family law questions. With three locations throughout South Carolina in Beaufort, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach, Ken Lester & Associates is able to help you resolve your family law issues. Please contact us with your legal concerns by phone or online. With our services at your disposal, you can rest assured that your legal issues will be dealt with timely, effectively, and handled by an experienced professional.