When facing the prospect of divorce, it may seem like there is not much left to discuss. If there have been years of fighting or marital alienation, you may be thinking that it is now only a matter of hiring a family law attorney to file the appropriate documents so you can move on with your life.
The fact is that there are many factors during divorce proceedings that can impact you and your family for years to come. Before making any agreements or signing any documents, the following are three important issues you need to review with an attorney experienced in handling South Carolina divorce cases.
Marital Property Division
Marital property includes anything that was bought, earned, or otherwise acquired during the marriage. Under Section 20-3-620 of the South Carolina Code, this property is to be divided on an equitable basis, as opposed to being split evenly between the spouses. Factors influencing this decision include:
Length of the marriage
The age, health, and income of the spouses
Pre or post marital agreements
Marital misconduct that may have led to the depreciation of assets
If you earn more than your spouse, are in better physical health, or are engaged in an affair, you could end up with less than an equal share.
Spousal Support and Maintenance
Based on your earning, the length of time you were married, and whether your spouse sacrificed their own education or career goals for the sake of supporting yours or in raising a family, a judge may order the payment of spousal support or alimony. Under South Carolina divorce laws, there are three types of alimony which may be awarded:
Periodic alimony. Paid on an ongoing basis until the receiving spouse remarries or is in a state of continued cohabitation.
Lump sum alimony. A specific amount of support to be paid either in one settlement or divided into recurring payments.
Rehabilitative alimony. Provides the receiving spouse with assistance while they pursue educational or career training.
Child Custody and Support
Child custody and support cases are among the most hotly contested in the family court. While the court encourages both parents to be equally involved in the care and responsibility of raising their child, there are certain factors the judge will consider in awarding custody. These include:
The established relationship each parent has with the child
The distance between the parent’s homes and the child’s school
The parents’ proven ability to cooperate with each other
The age of their child and their own preference
If one parent is awarded primary custody, the other may request visitation. They will also be required to make regular support payments, based on the amount of their income and calculations listed under the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines.
Speak With Our Experienced South Carolina Divorce Attorneys
In all of the above situations, it is important to speak with an experienced South Carolina divorce attorney to help ensure your rights and interests are protected. Contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC to arrange a free consultation in our Aiken, SC office to discuss factors that could influence decisions in your case.