Greenville couples should think about the possibility of alimony and child support after a divorce

Mar 6, 2020 7:05 PM ET

Divorces are a life changing event, but they do not always have to be stressful.

Attorneys who practice family law focus their careers on making sure the transition from married to single life is as painless and stress free as possible.


Requirements to get a divorce in South Carolina

The state bar provides some advice about how to formally separate through the courts.

Like most other states around the country, South Carolina now offers the option of no fault divorce that makes the process of separating much easier than it was decades ago. The person filing must establish residency by living in the state for at least one year prior and the two individuals must live apart for a year as well. They must also bring their action through the family court system, as the regular civil courts have no jurisdiction over these cases. The actual divorce hearing may only take a few minutes in court once the final step has been reached.

If one spouse wants to get child support or alimony they must file a separate action to do so.


How to determine if child support or alimony will be necessary

If the couple can agree to their own arrangements for child care after a divorce, a formal order of support may not be necessary. However, if the courts need to get involved and one parent is given primary custody of the children, the non-custodial parent will owe support based on the state’s guidelines.

Spousal support, also called alimony, is most important when spouses have vastly different earning power. Courts in the state can order alimony payments for a short period of time, in a lump sum, while one spouse is in school or training, or for longer durations. Because courts consider a number of factors such as the length of the marriage, earning power of the spouses, education and employment history, earning power, child care expenses, property and other assets, it is always important to talk to a lawyer before assuming alimony will be available or what amounts may be given. Alimony can generally be terminated within 90 days if the spouse who receives support remarries or cohabitates with someone else. Receipt of alimony can also create some complex taxation issues, so it is important to get help when filing each year as well. 

Both child support and alimony can be enforced through garnished wages or even fines and jail time if someone is found purposely avoiding their obligations. That means these payments need to be taken seriously.


Talk to a local lawyer to get specific advice about ending your marriage

There are attorneys in Greenville and nearby areas who deal with divorce cases all the time. They can use their experience to assist you. Contact The Hayes Law Office for more information.

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