A brief guide to South Carolina family law
Many aspects of your private domestic life may require you to interact with the legal system. One common reason you may need to familiarize yourself with South Carolina family laws is if you and your spouse are planning to separate. It is possible to obtain a divorce without consulting a lawyer. This will require you and your partner to create a separation agreement detailing how you plan to handle issues such as:
• Alimony payments
• Child support payments
• Child custody arrangements
• Division of jointly purchased property
• Visitation rights for the non-custodial parent
• Payment of jointly incurred debts
A document which is in accordance with South Carolina family law can be created by finding a generic template for separation agreements online. By creating in cooperating this document in advance, couples will avoid the uncertainty of relying upon a judge to resolve their disagreements in a way that may not be satisfactory to either party.
In cases where minor children are involved, South Carolina family laws are meant to keep their best interests in mind. If you and your spouse cannot reach agreement on custody issues, a judge may order you to attempt mediation. Discussions guided by a neutral third party will attempt to craft an agreement that respects South Carolina family law.
Couples who cannot resolve their differences must go to family court. South Carolina family laws concerning these kinds of contested divorces give judges a considerable degree of autonomy in deciding what to do. You may wish to hire a lawyer who can help you craft a proposed separation agreement that takes in account all the factors a judge will consider. A realistic agreement that is in accordance with South Carolina family law is more likely to be approved.
Another common issue is creating a will documenting how you wish for your assets to be handled after your death. With or without a lawyer, you can create a document that does not violate South Carolina family laws. Make sure that your will is signed by witnesses and that all other rules have been followed. Under South Carolina family law, you may revoke your will at any time and create a new one.
It is very important to make sure that all the language you use is clear and cannot be challenged. Failure to do so may result in probate disputes. South Carolina family law in this area is complicated and can be expensive to pursue.
Adoptions also fall into this legal category. South Carolina family laws require anyone who is seeking to adopt a child to undergo a "home-study" process, which can take anywhere from three to six months. Your fitness to care for a child will be evaluated in many ways, including interviews to evaluate your psychological health and reviews of your finances. South Carolina family laws do not allow you to adopt a child until you have completed this preliminary step.