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South Carolina Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: What if the petitioner was the actual person doing the abusing?

My wife has placed a order of protection on me and she is the real abuser in our home. I have all of our email and text messages that we have exchanged between us while we were fighting. She is a verbal abuser, and she is also quite possibly a Narcissist also. The judge even gave her the question... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Your best course of action is to seek the advice of a divorce lawyer who has experience dealing with abusive situations and orders of protection. However, you should note that "verbal abuse" is not a ground for divorce or basis for issuance of an order of protection in South Carolina.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Who is the visiting parent? In final order it states the visiting parent won’t get the following weekend after a holiday
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

In your court Order, there is likely language that designates one parent as the custodian and the other parent as the visiting parent; or, the "visiting parent" is the parent who has less time with the child(ren) overall. You may need to schedule a consultation with a family court lawyer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: What should a father do if a mother runs to another state from SC with minor child?

Mother, father, and child live together in the child’s birth state. Mother has lived in that state for almost one year and the child is 6 months old, she plans to visit her home state. Father says it’s not a good idea since child has been sick. Mother goes and then calls father and says she... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Most states have enacted a version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (referred to as the "UCCJEA"), and the typical provisions of the UCCJEA provide that an initial custody case can only be brought in the "home state" of the child; for a child who is an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Can you regain primary custody before a final hearing?

If you lost primary custody temporarily before the final hearing, but a third party had come forward and filed for emergency custody against the other parent, are you able to regain custody instead of the third party before the final hearing?

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

You have not provided very many facts of your specific situation so it's impossible to suggest what might be appropriate for your case. That being said, custody determinations (either temporary or final) are always modifiable by the Family Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I had my son when his father and I were split up. His father is not on the birth certificate

I had my son when his father and I were split up. His father is not on the birth certificate. Our son is 3 months old and we are now back together. We’ve been back together in a relationship since our son was 2 weeks old. His father and I do not live together. I work and his father helps... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Medicaid is funded by the federal government. For any South Carolina resident to receive those funds, federal law requires the person to seek child support from the other parent. However, the process for establishing child support through DSS is very cooperative, and you may be able to agree to him... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Is there anything that can be done to get an Order, signed by a Judge in Family Court, reversed? He ruled against defend

The couple were married only 6 weeks when she had to leave. She is 23 and she was threatened by the Plaintiff with an arrest if she didn't come in and sign the Separation Papers that day. Out of fear, she did sign without reading them thereby that separation of properties, she didn't know... Read more »

Breanna Compitello
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Breanna Compitello
answered on Dec 13, 2022

Sounds like there may have been some level of coercion in signing the document. When the documents are signed and incorporated into a court proceeding, the Judge always asks questions to rule out any coercion. If this was outside of court and just an agreement signed between the parties, then there... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Me and my brother inherateted a home me him his wife and kids live together they refuse to help pay taxes any matience

Any house work or anything all is left on me can I do anything

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 9, 2022

Hire an attorney to file an action for a Sale For Partition.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Ex and I are JTROS on our paid for home. Partition default judgement months ago, but delinquent tax sale does what to us

What happens with the partition during the redemption period of the delinquent tax sale?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Dec 6, 2022

Any Partition Action will be subject to the Tax Sale, which should have been part of the Partition Sale Order. Apparently the Partition Action is incomplete and erroneous. High tax bidder will ignore the Partition action.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law and Military Law for South Carolina on
Q: In SC I am a military member, my spouse is smoking pot illegally and harassing me with it because he knows I can't smoke

By harassing me i mean he smokes it obnoxiously in my face and continues to follow me around with it. I feel like he is trying to sabotage my health and career, and I feel unsafe around him. We are divorcing. The house is mine. He is forcing me out. He pays nothing on the house and is now trying to... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 28, 2022

There are not enough details here to provide you with specific information about your rights. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced South Carolina divorce lawyer.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: I slept with a woman and had a one night stand. She is insisting I'm father. I don't agree. If so I want to sign over.

I want to sign over rights to child as I do not believe to be this child's father. Would I still have to pay child support if I relinquish rights to this child, if it ends up being mine? I truly believe it's not mine due to nature of the individual and timing or information given. She has... Read more »

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Nov 22, 2022

The child’s mother can serve you with a paternity action to establish parentage and the court will order a DNA test upon you. If it’s determined that you’re the biological father, then the court will order you to pay monthly child support until the child reaches age 18. You’re decision to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: If im going for child support, is custody arrangements included in that or does the father have to take me back for that

My ex was abusive towards me, and im scared it would lead to them in the future. Hes been inconsistent with them, this is the 3rd time he vanished on them for months and randomly popped back up. Abandoned us to be evicted from 2 houses now, i didnt have a vehicle and he took my carseats so we were... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

The administrative process for establishing child support that is available through the Department of Social Services does *not* include any ability to establish custody/visitation. However, it is common that when one parent tries to use that process to get support, then the other parent will file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: I filed for CS in Nov of 21 and I’m just now getting a date for Dec of 22, is my child entitled to back pay?
Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Whether to award retroactive child support is within the Family Court's discretion; however, the law is clear that the Court can *only* award retroactive support back to the date the action was filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: If an unlicensed grandparent drives a child or lives with an undoc immigrant, could that have significance in custody?

I'm anticipating an unpleasant custody dispute in near future and I'm trying to prepare. My former partner receives a significant amount of childcare support from her mother. However, her mother had never received a driver's license. She also lives with her long-time boyfriend who is... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Choosing inappropriate caregivers is something the Family Court may consider when deciding custody. Allowing the grandmother who does not have a drivers license to drive the child demonstrates poor judgment. The immigration status of people living with the grandmother is likely to have little, if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Stone V Thompson 2019 decision concerning common law marriage: Does the 2019 decision allow for a "grandfather clause" ?

Those in common law marriages before the 2019 decision can still be considered as being married?

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Yes, the Stone v. Thompson decision prevented creation of new common law marriages after it was decided (on July 24, 2019), but if a common law marriage was established before that date, its existence can be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: My Daughter is using her Biological father last name(Were not married)..What to do my husband wants to adopt her?

She is using her biological father last name and His name was written on her Birth.I am not married with his father and He is in other country.How can I terminate his parental right when He never give child support.

I am married for 4years and My Husband want to adopt my daughter,Do we... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

First, you should understand that allowing your husband to adopt your daughter and changing her names are separate requests for relief.

Adoptions require very strict compliance with notice and service requirements to be valid. To determine whether you will need to give notice to your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Should a father file for divorce or child abandonment first. Mother abandoned children and spouse 10 years ago.

Mother left spouse and children in 2012. She has not been in contact with, sent money or anything in those 10 years. I want to make sure I protect my children. I just don't know if I should file for divorce first or if i should file for the abandonment of the children first.

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Nov 11, 2022

In South Carolina, Rule 18, SCRCP, requires that all claims that *can* be brought at the same time *must* be brought at the same time. The South Carolina Family Court is unlikely to grant a divorce until issues related to your children are resolved. Chances are, filing for divorce and custody at... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Need help with knowing our rights against dss they have been harassing my family for 3 years.im so done.

What can we do legal to protect my family from harassment.

Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale
answered on Nov 11, 2022

Schedule a consultation with a family court lawyer in your area who handles DSS cases to get advice specific to your situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Can I appeal as a mother if my lawyer missed the date to file an appeal and I didn't know about it until 1week b4 adopti
Charles William Michaels
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Charles William Michaels
answered on Sep 2, 2022

First, I am not a South Carolina lawyer. That being said, unfortunately if the appeal deadline has been missed -- for whatever reason-- I think your appeal period has closed.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: In child custody when a court order is needed can I file papers to refute such an order based on the children’s needs?

This involves the custodial parent moving more than 15 miles from a present location which would encumber all the details of the custodial agreement.

Megan Hunt Dell
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Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

I'm a little bit confused by your question, but it seems like you are asking whether a court order can be modified based on the custodial parent moving more than 15 miles from their current location because the relocation would make the terms of the agreement difficult to follow.

Court...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: What can I do?

During a separation I started seeing a girl, decided that didn't work out. Over a year later she's wanting a DNA test for a child I didn't know about. She has another man on the certificate, I also want to sign my rights over if the child is mine. What can I do? What happens if her... Read more »

Megan Hunt Dell
PREMIUM
Megan Hunt Dell
answered on Aug 25, 2022

It's unclear whether the mother of the child has filed an action in Family Court. If she were to do so, then the Court could order you to undergo DNA testing. Assuming you are the biological father of the child, and you want to terminate your rights, then you would need to sign a "Consent... Read more »

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