Are you considering divorce? You might be going through a rough time in your marriage, or maybe you are already separated. Is a divorce right for you? Lauren Taylor is a Goose Creek Divorce lawyer experienced in Goose Creek, SC divorce lawyer. She has helped many of her clients receive fair divorce settlements. We know that a divorce is difficult on both spouses as well as any children that are involved.
We want to make sure that you get the settlement and custody arrangement that you want so that you can begin to build your new life. If you are questioning divorce we can help. Contact us today to discuss any questions that you have about your potential divorce.
Popular questions before filing for divorce
While going through a divorce you’ll probably have a lot of questions. Below we go over some of the top questions our clients have when they come to our office.
- Are you sure?: This might seem like an obvious question, but it should be the first step in your divorce. Unless you have a toxic marriage with major issues, are you sure you really want to go through with your divorce? Initially, most people recommend going through counseling to try to save the marriage. In fact, you have to be separated a year before you can even file for a no-fault divorce. Part of the reason you have to wait so long to file is to make sure that you’re absolutely sure you want to go through with your divorce. If you feel like there is still hope for your marriage, you should seek counseling.
- Have you tried everything else?: If you have gone through marriage counseling, but you’re still unhappy, then it might be time to separate. A trial separation can show you what life would be like after a divorce.
- Have you talked it through with your spouse?: You need to discuss the possibility of divorce and what life would be like afterward. You should decide with your spouse, if possible, what your next course of action should be.
- Do I want a divorce because I like someone new?: There are many things that can happen during the course of a marriage, including affairs. Whether you have acted on your feelings, or you just have an interest, you need to think about it. Are you just bored with your marriage? This is the perfect time to seek out counseling before deciding your next steps.
- How will divorce affect my children?: You aren’t the only person that has to live with the fallout of your divorce. Once you and your spouse separate, you will need to determine who will have custody of your children. Also, if you don’t have custody of your children you will need to pay child support to the custodial parent. However, it is better for your children to grow up with divorced parents than in a household that is fighting all the time. Just make sure that you consider what your children will have to deal with post-divorce.
- What will happen after my divorce?: You need to have realistic expectations of what your life will be like after your divorce. Your financial situation is going to change. If you’re used to having two incomes, you’re going to have to adjust to living off your income and any child/spousal support. Also, you will emotionally be on your own. Once you have a divorce settlement in place, make sure you fully understand how assets will be divided and what you’re receiving.
These are some of the many questions we encourage you to ask yourself when facing a divorce. We always recommend counseling as a first step, but if you are unhappy in your marriage, we can help you with your divorce. We just want to make sure that you go through every option.
How do laws in South Carolina work with the division of property?
As always, we recommend that you try to settle your divorce through mediation with your spouse and legal representation. However, if you can’t settle the terms of your divorce, you will find yourself in court. Family judges will divide your assets and debts equally between you and your spouse.
This doesn’t always mean that your property will be split 50/50. Whenever you meet with your divorce attorney you should take a list of your assets along with you. On this list, you should note when you received these assets and how much they are worth. If you received any gifts or an inheritance from family, these items are exempt from being divided.
To ensure that property is split fairly, a judge will consider:
- How much each spouse contributed to the marriage financially
- The health and ages of each spouse
- If either spouse is responsible for the marriage failing
- How long they were married
Am I eligible for alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, can be paid to either spouse in the marriage. Spousal support is meant to be provided to the spouse that is financially weaker. Divorce can be devastating and is not meant to leave either spouse in the position that they can’t pay their bills. So, alimony can be ordered for a period of time, until the financially weaker spouse can get back on their feet.
In South Carolina, judges will most likely order that permanent periodic alimony is paid. This is alimony that can last a lifetime, or until your spouse remarries. So, whether you are looking to receive alimony or trying not to avoid the issuance of alimony, you need to hire an experienced Goose Creek Divorce lawyer. It can be costly paying alimony to a spouse that never remarries.
The amount of alimony can decrease or increase depending on financial changes. Make sure you hire an attorney that knows how to handle all facets of a divorce case, including alimony.
When a court is deciding on the subject of alimony, a judge will consider:
- The length of the marriage
- Age of each of the spouses
- Both the mental and physical health of each spouse
- The career and educational background of each spouse
- Earning the potential of both spouses
- Employment histories of the spouses
- The standard of living throughout the marriage
- Any fault or marital misconduct of the spouses
If you have committed adultery during your marriage, you are not allowed to receive alimony according to South Carolina state law. However, any of the other at-fault charges do not disqualify you from alimony. A judge can also order that you pay rehabilitative alimony, which is seen as temporary assistance.
Judges might order this type of alimony if you were in a shorter marriage, your spouse didn’t work, or your spouse can become gainfully employed with some schooling or vocational training. Alimony can be confusing, it’s important to have an expert that can answer all of your questions.
Who will determine child custody?
In mediation, we can devise a custody arrangement as part of your divorce settlement. However, a lot of clients find it difficult to come up with a custody arrangement they agree on. Child custody is one of the hardest parts of a divorce settlement. So, many clients find themselves at the mercy of a judge. The court is focused on finding the best home for the child, and they act in the child’s best interest.
A judge will be concerned with the needs of the child and how they will be met. Are you able to provide a stable home and put your child’s needs before your own wants? Finally, the judge will consider the bond that your child has with you as well as other family members. Once custody of your children has been set, your next hurdle is child support.
How does South Carolina handle child support?
There is a formula that the judge will use to select how many children support you should pay or receive. The court looks at the incomes of both parents to determine the amount that each should pay toward raising their child. If your child stays at least 110 overnight visits at your house, the court considers your custody agreement to be shared custody. The child support amount will be the highest for a parent that has sole custody.
A judge can deviate from the formula as well. In some circumstances, the tuition of a child is included in child support, which reduces the payment. Also, if the financial situation of you or your spouse changes, you can reevaluate the amount of child support.
A judge can decide to change your child support arrangement at any time. You should always pay your child support per the order of the court, or you could have your wages garnished. You could also go to jail if you continue to refuse to pay.
These are some of the many questions that you find yourself asking when you begin your divorce. An experienced Goose Creek divorce lawyer can help you answer these questions and more. Are you ready to put your divorce behind you and begin your new life? Contact Lauren Taylor Law today to start the process of your divorce.