Types of Cases Handled in Family Law Court

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Family law courts in South Carolina can hear a wide range of issues. In the best-case scenario, you are able to settle these without needing a hearing in court. Here are some of the things that could be at issue in a family law case.

Custody

The court has the full discretion to decide custody issues regarding the children, including which parent will have physical custody (or whether the two parents should have joint custody) and who makes decisions for the children. In addition, custody matters may also include how much visitation one parent gets when the other has physical custody.

Child Support

The parent with physical custody may receive child support (or one parent may receive when the two share custody and there is a disparity in incomes). While child support comes from statutory guidelines, the court may consider additional factors that could raise or lower the amount that one parent needs to pay. In addition, one parent may fall behind in child support payments, leading to court enforcement.

Property Division

When the couple gets divorced, their property will be split according to the law of equitable distribution. The court will consider a number of things in dividing the property, including:

  • The earnings capacity of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • How much each contributed to the marital estate
  • Homemaking and childcare services provided by one of the spouses

Each spouse will have their chance to present evidence to persuade the judge to divide the property based on one or more of these factors. These issues can often be contentious.

Modification

Even after divorce, the legal custody issues do not end. If conditions change since the initial visitation and custody order, one parent has the legal right to ask the court for a modification. Modifications could include:

  • Child support
  • Visitation
  • Physical custody

The court does not always grant these, but it will consider whether the circumstances have changed enough to warrant a modification.

Alimony

When there is a disparity in earnings capacities and living standards between the spouses, the court may order one to pay support directly to the other on a temporary or permanent basis. The court may have a hearing to consider the financial circumstances of each spouse in deciding whether to award alimony.

Greenville Divorce Lawyers

Whether your divorce is contested or not, you need legal advice to help you make the right decisions. What you decide now could affect you for the rest of your life. Call the law firm of Bannister & Wyatt at (864) 523-7768 or contact us online to discuss your case.

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FAQ

What is the standard to get a child support modification?

To get any modification from the court, you would need to show changed circumstances from the last order.

How long will it take for my divorce?

The length depends on whether both spouses can agree on the terms.

Will my divorce end up at a trial?

The only time there is a trial is when the divorce is contested.

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