Divorce and Family Law issues can cause a rollercoaster of emotions and stress for all parties involved. Dealing with divorce and related issues are stressful. The Law Office of Deondra Sexton understands the extreme emotional consequences that divorce, child custody, and family issues reek on clients’ mental and physical well-being. It is with this understanding that Deondra provides clients with compassion while representing their interests vigorously and fiercely.
In South Carolina, a divorce is obtainable on the grounds of fault or no-fault. The basis for a fault-based divorce in South Carolina are as follows:
- Habitual drunkenness caused by alcohol or narcotic drugs;
- Physical cruelty; or
- Abandonment/desertion for a period of one year.
A no-fault divorce in South Carolina can be granted based on either party’s application if and when the parties have lived separately and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year.
In some cases, the sooner the parties can be divorced, the better. However, there are times when parties have other family issues to resolve. Fortunately, in South Carolina, a divorce can be obtained separately or as part of a support and maintenance action.
Child custody issues can be heartbreaking and emotional. The custody of a child is no small task to consider. Rights and obligations, the amount of time a child spends with each parent, who the child will live with, as well as who will make decisions concerning the well-fair and well being of the child, are all issues that will need to be resolved.
In South Carolina, child custody is determined based on the “best interest of the child” standard. In making this determination, a South Carolina court will consider factors such as education, emotional, psychological, recreational, physical, and familial aspects.
A custody award can be for joint custody or sole custody. As defined by the South Carolina Code of Laws, joint custody means both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child. However, a judge may designate the sole authority for making specific, identified decisions to one parent, while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for all other decisions. Sole custody means a person, including, but not limited to, a parent who has temporary or permanent custody of a child (unless otherwise provided for by court order), has rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child.
In South Carolina, any parent with physical custody of a child can seek assistance from the South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Supports Services Division. The Child Supports Services Division assists in establishing, collecting, enforcing, and modifying child support. Monthly child support obligations generally are based on the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines use an income share model to consider both parents’ income for calculating a monthly child support obligation. Several factors, including but not limited to the number of children, daycare, and health insurance, are considered when calculating and determining the monthly obligation of support.
Life situations can create events that cause a responsible non-custodial parent to become delinquent on their monthly child support obligation. Further, unfortunate situations can cause a responsible non-custodial parent to cease paying child support altogether, such as becoming disabled or losing their job.
If these events occur, the non-custodial parent may need to take proactive measures to prevent the appearance of non-compliance. A non-custodial parent may have to appear before a court to explain the reason for the non-payment of child support. If that happens, The Law Office of Deondra Sexton is ready and willing to provide you with competent legal representation.
Enforcement hearings can be frightening and somewhat scary, just as child support modification hearings can cause anxiety due to possible increases or decreases in child support obligations.
Deondra understands life can bring about events that are not ideal, causing a responsible parent to appear unfavorable. With that understanding, Deondra will provide representation in child support matters, helping to remove the notation of “deadbeat parent” due to unfortunate life situations.