There are many aspects of family law Greenville SC residents handle on their own, unaware of how much time, money, and energy they could save by hiring an attorney to guide their actions, defend their interests, or represent them in court.
The best way to assess whether a family lawyer can help in a particular situation, besides contacting one and discussing the case, is to acquire a basic understanding of the family law in South Carolina, and of the type of cases family law attorneys handle on a regular basis.
Introduction to South Carolina Family Law
Family law governs the legal responsibilities of individuals sharing a domestic connection through a body of statutes and, in certain situations, case precedents. The domestic partners are usually related by blood or marriage, but casual or more distant relationships can fall under the family law as well. The Greenville County Family Court settles most family law cases in Greenville, SC.
Types of Cases of Family Law Cases a Greenville Attorney Can Handle
Most cases on family law in Greenville, SC, come with a huge emotional charge. Many of them involve the termination of a romantic relationship or marriage, and the feelings and resentment between the parties often get in the way of any negotiations and agreements.
The more complicated the situation between the parties is, the more helpful a family law attorney can be. Besides helping their client file for divorce or separation, they can help them formulate or answer any requests for alimony, child custody, visitation rights, and financial support.
Caught in the emotional turmoil of the separation, if they decide to handle the legal proceedings on their own, the parties often omit details in their Complaints, Answers, or Petitions, or fail to support their claims with arguments and evidence. An attorney will never lose sight of their goals and would handle such details with priority.
It is not uncommon to see spouses married for only a short period filing for divorce when it would be much simpler to seek an annulment. Same-sex couples are often unaware of their rights. An experienced, objective opinion can expedite property division and help the parties reach an agreement.
Although just like all the other states, South Carolina has its own laws determining the parties’ rights in case of property division, a family law attorney can help their client bypass the rules by drafting a prenuptial agreement. In case of divorce, the agreement will determine the distribution of the marital property and may influence financial support claims as well.
Family law in Greenville, SC, covers more than just relationship termination. It also aims to prevent physical and emotional abuse. The abuse does not have to take place between spouses, former spouses, or parents and their children. Any type of physical or emotional abuse occurring between parties living in the same household or in a relationship can fall under the jurisdiction of family law.
Thus, the court may intervene to protect an elder, someone abused by their date, or a roommate. The first step one has to follow in order to end the abuse is to file a complaint or press charges. Based on their complaint, the court will issue a restraining order meant to prevent future contact between the parties.
With the help of a family law attorney, the parties can easily avoid painful confrontations and find the best legal solutions for their particular cases. The attorney often handles negotiations as well, and manages to reduce the amount their client would have to pay, or, on the contrary, earns them a higher amount.
Perhaps the most difficult cases a family law attorney in Greenville can handle are those related to child custody. While the parents’ biggest concern remains the education, safety, and well-being of their children, the parties often become distrustful of one another and end up fighting in court for their rights.
As a general rule, the judges base their decisions on the “children’s best interests.” However, an experienced attorney can present evidence and provide interpretations to influence the judge’s perception.
For example, although the court usually awards the custody of small children to the mother, the father could obtain it by proving the mother is not capable and responsible enough to look after the little ones. The attorney can gather evidence in this sense, and build a strong case in court.
Even though the court will eventually decide in favor of one of the parents, the other one will have visitation rights and an equal say in any major decisions that will affect the child’s life. Another responsibility parents share is the financial support of their children.
To calculate child support, the court will look at the parent’s income, at the child’s health insurance costs, and at the amounts paid as child support for other children in similar situations. Parents who are not happy with the decision of the court or whose circumstances change can request adjustments to the visitation schedule and revisions of the child support amount, on the condition that they prove the change in circumstances.
The assistance of a Greenville family law attorney can make a big difference for either of the parties and may bring about more time to spend with one’s child, or more convenient child support amounts and payment terms. Other cases of family law in Greenville can refer to establishing paternity, terminating parental rights, grandparent rights, adoption, and LGBT relationships.
The Bottom Line about Hiring a Greenville SC Family Law Attorney
In general, for any legal issues one may encounter, the help of an attorney can bring about peace of mind, and time, money, and effort savings. When it comes to family law, benefiting from legal assistance is even more important, as the way a case ends could have a major impact on the future lives of the parties. Here are a few examples of cases a family law attorney can and should handle:
- Spouse and child support
- Child custody
- Domestic violence
- Same-sex relationships
If you or someone you know is working through any of the situations described above or face legal issues pertaining to family law in Greenville, SC, contact Robert Clark. One of the most experienced attorneys in his niche, he is also highly committed to his job, providing relevant legal advice and confident and compassionate representation to anyone needing it.