Family Law is the area of law that deals with domestic family matters such as marriage, adoption, divorce, and child custody/visitation.
The grounds for divorce depend on the state, and may be based on no-fault grounds or fault grounds. In South Carolina (SC) the fault grounds for divorce are (1) adultery, (2) physical cruelty, (3) habitual drunkenness, and (4) desertion. In SC, the no-fault divorce option is living separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year. A no-fault divorce is one in which neither the husband nor the wife officially blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. Common bases for no-fault divorce are "irreconcilable differences," "irretrievable breakdown" or "incompatibility." There is only one main criterion in a no-fault divorce: the parties must have lived separate and apart for one year.
Child custody issues can be particularly difficult. If the parents cannot agree on custody of their child, the courts will decide custody based on "the best interests of the child." Determining the child’s best interests involves many different factors, some more important than others. Child support is determined by child support guidelines and some non-income based factors. SC uses tables that indicate a support amount for different ranges of income, similar to tax tables and an income shares model, which is based on the income of both parents.
Adoption is the process by which a legal parent-child relationship is created between individuals not biologically parent and child. In most cases under SC law, adopted children may inherit on an equal basis with biological children under state laws of distribution upon death of a parent.
The George Law Firm LLC Family Law practice includes:
- Spousal Support both temporary and permanent
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Child Support Modification
- Post-Divorce Proceedings
- Contempt (Rule to Show Cause)
- Recalculation of Child Support
- Custody Modification
- Visitation Modification
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Department of Social Services Proceedings
- Guardian ad Litem
- Name Change
Family Law issues are challenging and emotional for all involved. The George Law Firm LLC strives to help their clients assess their options and make the proper decision that best suits their situation. We ensure that each client thoroughly understands the particular issues involved in their case as well as possible outcomes for the options available. We work closely with our clients to expeditiously and compassionately resolve each issue while minimizing both the financial and emotional impact of the legal proceedings needed to do so.
Taking a Reasonable Approach to Difficult Issues - In order to reduce expense and stress, The George Law Firm LLC encourages non-litigating settlement methods. We encourage separating couples to reach amicable settlements outside of court. When individual agreements are not successful, The George Law Firm LLC utilizes alternative dispute resolution tools such as mediation and arbitration. However if the issues are not resolved, we are fully prepared to vigorously pursue your rights in court.
Divorce – The dissolution of a marriage is never a happy event, but a time of emotional upheaval. Most divorces have complex issues that need quick resolution. The George Law Firm LLC approaches each case with compassion and understanding. We strive to focus on resolving issues in an ethical yet expeditious manner. When there are children involved, The George Law Firm LLC will focus on their best interests and attempt to reduce the effects of the bitter legal disputes during the divorce process. While private agreements and mediation are our first choices in settling family issue, The George Law Firm LLC will thoroughly prepare your case for courtroom litigation.
Custody and Visitation - The best interests of the children are paramount when it comes to quality time spent with their parents. When necessary, The George Law Firm LLC the resources of psychiatrists and counselors to make sure custody and visitation arrangements meet the best interest of the child and/or children. South Carolina courts require mediation in custody and other divorce-related matters involving children. The George Law Firm LLC prefers a cooperative process to ease the transition to a post-divorce life for all members of a family, but will litigate any issue not resolved through the mediation process.
There are strict state statutes dictating child support amounts. The calculation factors include income, expenses and custody time of each parent.
Asset division can be very contentious. The George Law Firm LLC strives to identify and value all assets, including those that are hidden or improperly accounted for. The George Law Firm LLC protects the rights and financial futures of our clients seeking an equitable division. When complex property division is needed, The George Law Firm LLC utilizes advice from forensic accountants and financial investors to ensure proper valuation and tax liabilities are determined before division.
The George Law Firm LLC also helps clients prepare for marriage with Prenuptial Agreements - contracts entered into prior to marriage, civil union - or any other agreement required or requested prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery or other fault grounds; further conditions of guardianship may be included as well.
The George Law Firm LLC counsels clients with complex paternity matters. Paternity refers to determining the biological and/or legal father of a child for custody, visitation, and child support. The mother or the putative father can bring action to establish paternity as well as a state agency like Department of Social Services.
If you are a father, it may be in your best interest to establish paternity in order to gain custody of your child or seek visitation rights. Or, you may wish to challenge paternity to avoid responsibility for a child that is not yours.
As a mother, it may be in your best interest to establish paternity so you can seek child support that will help provide for your child or to keep someone from gaining custody of your child who is not the biological father.
Whatever specific paternity matter you are attempting to resolve, As attorneys with experience in family law and paternity matters in particular, The George Law Firm LLC can assist you with your case and we are confident that we can offer you the information and guidance you need to make the right choices about your case.
The Department of Social Services
The staff at the SC Department of Social Services (DSS) tries their best to regulate family and child-abuse related issues. The George Law Firm LLC gives clients honest and simple answers to their questions and fight for their rights during the DSS case. DSS is not in business to take children away from their parents permanently, but to make sure the best interests of the child are met. A defendant parent trying to negotiate a DSS case without representation will find the process is very confusing and frustrating. The George Law Firm LLC aids parents in defense of DSS allegations to protect your family’s integrity and expedite the legal proceedings.