Every South Carolina divorce is different. There are different facts, goals, issues, and complexities. This is especially true when the divorce involves a physician or dentist because of the unique issues that come into play and must be decided upon.
In general, there are four (4) steps to a divorce, which include the process of divorce itself, support for your children and/or spouse, child custody, and the division of the marital estate.
What is the Divorce Process?
The divorce process in South Carolina consists of the procedures and filing requirements that are involved in ending your marriage. This is basically the same in every divorce.
The entire divorce begins with a Complaint for Divorce being filed with the South Carolina court. This isn’t a situation where you are setting yourself up for a fight in court. In fact, when dealing with the issues that arise in the divorce of a physician or dentist, staying out of the courtroom is one of the most beneficial things you can do.
Once the issues are resolved, the South Carolina courts will issue a Divorce Decree, which ends your marriage.
What About Child Custody?
There are two types of child custody in South Carolina: physical and legal. Legal custody involves you being able to be a part of any major decisions that concern your child, such as religion, medical treatment, schooling, extra-curricular activities, etc. Physical custody involves which parent your child will live with the majority of the time.
In a situation where you, your spouse, or both of you are dentists or physicians, your time at home could be limited. You may have obligations that involve caring for your patients and continuing education. It may be difficult for you to be present for your child’s sporting events, or even getting them to and from school.
Because you may have to focus on your practice, your spouse may be focused on your child. Whatever the issues, the goal is to be consistent and do what is in the best interest of your child.
What About Spousal and Child Support?
Spousal support and child support are complex issues. With spousal support, both you and your spouse’s income has to be determined, but there are emotions involved in paying or receiving spousal support.
It could be that your spouse earns less or nothing at all because, at some point, you and your spouse agreed that they would cut back or give up their career to raise your child.
Income can be an extremely cut and dry issue, however, with physicians and dentists, income may be a bit more complicated because their income may come from various sources.
Child support is linked to custody and the overall division of the marital estate. The link to custody is that the more time you spend with your child, the less child support you may have to pay.
What About Division of the Marital Estate?
If you are a dentist or physician, you may own your own practice. In this case, two issues need to be addressed. They are the value of the practice or your ownership interest in the practice and the protection of the continued life of that practice or ownership interest.
Your practice would have to be evaluated and a value put on it for the sake of an equitable division of the marital estate.
As a physician or dentist, if you are going through a divorce, you and your South Carolina divorce attorney must ensure a lot of attention to detail though. You and your South Carolina divorce attorney need to give attention to the unique circumstances of your divorce.
The divorce lawyers at Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, L.L.C. in Greenville have the knowledge, skill, and experience to deal with the set of unique circumstances a divorce involving a physician or dentist can bring. We will aggressively represent you in court and ensure your rights are protected.