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Questions Answered by Megan Hunt Dell
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: What is there to do after co parent has already been found in contempt & lost primary custody but still violating order?

Co-parent has been found in contempt of court and lost primary physical custody and sole legal custody of very young child for violating custody order and mostly for severely denying visitation. Immediately after, went right back to denying visitation. What can I do? What should I be requesting In... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Dec 2, 2021

The only available remedies for contempt are imprisonment (for a period of up to 1 year), a fine (of up to $1500), and/or community service. However, in determining whether a parent should have custody of a child, the Family Court often considers whether each parent has complied with court orders,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for South Carolina on
Q: My husband and I wanted to adopt an infant. We had an infant placed in our home through DSS in 2020.

The baby is a Safe Haven - Daniel's Law baby. The birth mothers name was on the birth certificate. The hospital made an error in placing the mothers name on the birth certificate. It's been a year and we are still waiting for a TPR and to adopt. Does the mother still have legal rights?... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Dec 2, 2021

Until the mother's parental rights are terminated, she remains the child's legal parent. If the child is placed with you by DSS, then DSS has custody of the child. However, in many situations, you do not have to wait for DSS to file a TPR action; instead, you could file a private action... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Criminal Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: What is the best type of attorney for a DSS/CPS case? Family law seems too broad...

I need an affordable attorney that has experience dealing with and winning cases with DSS involvement. I need to know exactly what my rights and options are.

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Dec 2, 2021

You can ask any attorney you consult with about how much experience they have defending DSS cases.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: in South Carolina, where do I send an application for registering a foreign child support order
Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Aug 26, 2021

Where to send it will depend on which county you want to be able to enforce the foreign order in. The procedures detailed in South Carolina Code Sections 63-17-3610 through 63-17-3740 should help you -- they are available here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t63c017.php

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: We have joint custody, rotating every Friday. Do I have to let the mother call all the time during my week?

The Custody is joint switching on Fridays and I (Father) have primary placement. This wouldn't be a problem but the mother tends to be harassing me about whatever petty detail she can. And I feel like she is trying to turn my children against me.

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Aug 26, 2021

Typically, South Carolina court orders for joint custody include provisions detailing each parent's rights to communicate with the child while he/she is in the care of the other parent. If you are not sure how to interpret the terms of your Order, the best course of action is to schedule a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I live with my girlfriend our son and her daughter from another marriage we have been together for 6 years

I live with my girlfriend we have a son together and she has a daughter which I never adopted I am the only one that works in the household my question is would I have to pay alimony if we split I'm ok with child support also would she be able to take him out of state I have also decided I... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on Aug 26, 2021

Alimony is only awarded in cases for divorce; if you are not legally married, then you would not have a divorce case.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: Ex husband bought new home prior to final divorce. Do I have legal rights to it? I signed no paperwork regarding it

Divorce final 7/15/2020, he closed on home 6/2020. Do I have legal rights to it since it was closed on prior to the divorce being finalized?

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

In the order granting you a divorce, the Family Court likely also addressed the division of assets and debts. In very limited circumstances there is a possibility of addressing assets that were not disclosed before the divorce was granted.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: My husband wants a divorce. He has moved out of the house. What shall I do?

He has been gone for six months but he has agreed to continue to pay the mortgage and our car payments. I suspect infidelity but I don't have proof. What will be the right approach for me in this matter

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

The right approach will depend a lot on what your goals are. Because the two of you are living separately from each other now, you could file an action for separate support and maintenance with the Family Court, regardless of whether you have proof of adultery. A lawyer experienced with divorces... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Can I possibly takeover custody of a baby that dss placed with his aunt?

He was born addicted to cocaine. Dss placed him with his aunt . I am not a blood relative. But my kids are. So dss placed him with her but I have him 6 nights a week and she has him 1. When thwy went to court back in Jan, his guardian ad litem asked the judge to place him with me. But instead they... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

Under South Carolina law, when children are removed from a home, there is an order of preference for where the children should be placed (with family or not). If you wish to seek custody of this child, you should seek the advice of a lawyer experienced with DSS cases and third-party custody claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for South Carolina on
Q: I would like to be adopted by my step dad. I am almost 50 now my mother is passed away. But I have always had this need
Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

South Carolina Family Court will allow an adult to be adopted by another adult. You should seek the advice of a lawyer who is experienced in handling adult adoptions.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I'm unwed with a child and would like to know what my legal right are with my child? father not pay chd sup. no vistati

Father not paying child support or rarely see his child. Father residence is in Georgia

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

In South Carolina, when a child is born to unmarried parents, the mother is the child's sole custodian. Paternity and child support can be established through the DSS child support process. Information on how to apply for child support through DSS is available here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: DSS showed up on false allegations..

DSS showed up with no paperwork, stating a false allegation from someone who has done this to me twice before.. demanded my husband and I take hair follicle and instant urine the following day.

Did what was directed, it's been a week now and I have not heard anything at all.... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

Your husband should have a consultation with a lawyer who is experienced in defending allegations made to DSS.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: Hi my brother in law is behind in child support from 2 of his exes.... the main problem here, is that for one case, the

mother is, i believe, incarcerated and also the 2 girls are above 18 yrs of age...in the 2nd case his other 2 kids with a different mother, she no longer has them, and she never let him talk to or see their kids just to be cruel....he needs advice bc the lady at family court told me that he... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

He needs to seek a consultation with a lawyer experienced in child support cases.

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Divorce, Employment Law and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Can my husband get me for abandonment if I move out of the home because he has a girlfriend.

has had a girlfriend for over a year now. He takes our daughter around her. they talk bad about me in front of her. The girlfriend threatens to hurt me.. She sends me text and calls me. She has been in my personal information through the unemployment office where she currently works. She tells... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

In South Carolina, there is no divorce ground of abandonment; however, there is a ground called "desertion" that is not commonly used anymore. The most common ground for divorce is living separate and apart for more than one year, and the spouses must be separated before the one year can begin.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for South Carolina on
Q: When would the monetary value of a residence be determined for divorce? At the time of separation or divorce
Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

Generally, assets are valued based on the date when the case is filed with the Family Court. If the case is filed long after a separation occurs, then the date of separation may be used instead.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Immigration Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I lived under common law for 17 years, separated 10 months ago, both undocumented, have a child. Can file for divorce?

What are the risks ? Can I ask for child support and alimony? There’s a new girlfriend in the picture who he’s planning to marry in the future since she’s a citizen. We have a business and properties together. If I can’t file for divorce what options do I have? Thank you!

Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell answered on May 7, 2021

It is very hard to prove the existence of a common law marriage in South Carolina. If you are able to prove that you were common law married, then you could also request alimony. Child support can be requested regardless of whether the two of you were married. Immigration status does not affect... Read more »

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