South Carolina Family Law

South Carolina laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute South Carolina Statute
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period.
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA
b. Property distribution factors
4. Legal separation? South Carolina does not recognize “legal separation.”  Instead, the South Carolina Family Courts issue Orders of Separate Maintenance and Support, which provide specific details regarding parties’ child custody, visitation, and support arrangements, as well as maintaining marital assets and paying marital debts, until the case is resolved at a final hearing or trial.
a. Waiting period/Separation period 1 year
5. Is mediation required
6. Forms used
7. Alimony guidelines and factors Alimony guidelines
Alimony formula
a. Types
b. Term Limits
Cohabitation Automatic or Judge's discretion as to whether alimony terminates
c. Imputing income "Automatic modification OR At court’s discretion, alimony terminates upon the remarriage or continued cohabitation of the supported spouse
SC ST § 20-3-150"
d. Change in circumstances
e. Ceases on retirement Hearing upon retirement to determine whether change in circumstances.  See section 20-3-170
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income H.B. 4738, 119th Sess. General Assembly, 2d Reg. Sess. (S.C. 2011).
8. Child support factors and guidelines
9. Child support calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Allowed - Code of Laws Section 20-3-130
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Trial
b. Goodwill divisibility Goodwill never divisible - Donahue v. Donahue, 299 S.C. 353, 384 S.E.2d 741 (1989).
c. Standard of value Fair market value
d. Discounts

Yes

e. Shareholder/partner agreements

 

 12. Double dip  Impermissible double dip, occurs with personal and enterprise goodwill, therefore all is excluded from marital estate.
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts
 c. Child support Child Support
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  
 15. Common law  Case law over the last 40 years best defines common law marriage in South Carolina.  The short answer to this question, however, is: That the parties believed that they were essentially married, and demonstrated this belief both privately and publicly. Or that the parties were eligible to be married.


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