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South Carolina Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: My Step daughters mom keeps threatening to just keep her every time she gets mad about something. Can she do that?

She's been Living with us for over 5 Years. She has not supported her financially at all. Not involved in school, doctors or anything important to the the child's well being. I have been more her mother then her biological one. Can she do really just do that? She has never been stable... Read more »

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Oct 5, 2020

You will need to contact a Family Court attorney in your area. This is a very complicated area of the law and really depends on what the current custody agreement/order says. If she is violating a custody order there is an enforcement mechanism that may be of assistance.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Do I have rights to our home

My husband bought a house only put his name on the deed and title with an insurance check with both of our names on the check. Trying to be the sole owner by not adding my name to the title, when we have a disagreement he tell me I have to leave

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Sep 3, 2020

If you are married any property purchased during the marriage is going to be marital property regardless of how the property is titles absent specific circumstances. If may be worth stilling down with a family law attorney in your area to go over your specific situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: As a beneficiary in SC am I entitled to see the will if I am not an executor?

my older 3 siblings are executors I am youngest

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Sep 3, 2020

In South Carolina the original will should be filed with the probate court with in 30 days of the decedent's death. If the will has been filed, as a beneficiary of the will you should be able to review the will at the local probate court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Probate for South Carolina on
Q: Can a person under legal adult guardianship grant general power of attorney to someone who is not their guardian?

The person in question is a 25-year-old who is under the legal adult guardianship of abusive, controlling parents. The guardianship was filed in SC, but the person and their parents are living in MD. The parents have taken the person's phone and control of their money, they have no privacy and... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Aug 29, 2020

I do not practice in South Carolina, so I would recommend along this question to those who are. With that disclaimer, I believe what you will find is that you will need to petition the Court in SC for a modification of the guardianship. You SHOULD have standing as an interested person to challenge... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Hi, I have a question about retaining my daughter past visitation due to COVID-19

I live in New York, where cases are trending downward. My ex, whom I am not divorced from lives in South Carolina, a state that does not have their COVID-19 cases under control. There is no official custody agreement, but she has been living in South Carolina for a year. My ex and I have already... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Aug 10, 2020

This is really a SC question as your daughter has lived there for more than 6 months. In general, since there is no order of custody, you both have equal rights to your daughter. If you keep your daughter here, the issue will be decided in a SC court.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Am I able to sell my house (prior to divorce being finalized) if it was given to me in the separation agreement?

SC Residency

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Jul 16, 2020

If a final order of separate support and maintenance has been approved by the Family Court giving you ownership of a marital home then you are fine selling the home. I would recommend consulting with your family court attorney or a real estate attorney in your area in you have any further questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: My son is 20 years old and has been raised by myself and his stepfather and wants him listed as his father

He wants it legally documented that his stepfather is his father- is this possible? And if so how does he start the process for this?

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Jun 26, 2020

I would recommend reaching out to an attorney where your son lives. They will be in the best position to advise you on the process for adoption.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for South Carolina on
Q: DSS removed my child due to a positive drug screen that is not accurate due to a medication I'm prescribed

I'm prescribed Adderall and have been in a treatment program for many years during which all my drug screens have always came back clean. I have documentation of this as well. They have put my child in my soon to be ex's care who will not allow me to see her. The same situation happened... Read more »

Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale answered on May 4, 2020

What you haven't mentioned is if you've provided a statement from your doctor confirming that you are prescribed for Adderall.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: Back in 2012 i signed a document between me and my parents for them to have temporary custody of my son and had it

Notarized, this was not done through the court system at all, my son has been living with me since 2014 i asked them multiple times to sign him back over but they never would now that i have chosen to move out of state the have decided to pull the temporary customer agreement back out an say that i... Read more »

Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale answered on Apr 20, 2020

Although your question doesn't state where the agreement was entered into, I assume that it was done in South Carolina. Because your agreement was never court approved, it is not enforceable as a custody order. It would merely convey to your parents the authority to obtain medical care for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: How do I get an unaltered copy of an adoption decree? Before the judge made corrections. Would a copy be on record.
Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Apr 16, 2020

The final decree as signed by the judge would be on file with the clerk of court. Any other version you would need to talk to the person that drafted the document who would more likely than not would be an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: I have joint custody with my ex husband. Our daughter is fifteen and would like to live with me now.

Do I need to go back to court or is she old enough to decide?

Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver answered on Apr 13, 2020

Your previous Court Order controls. Changing court-ordered custody and visitation first requires a showing of a substantial and material change in circumstances followed by a best interest of the child analysis. It is complicated and you will very likely need an attorney.

I would start by...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for South Carolina on
Q: Not married but have children and have lived together for almost 15 years.

My long term boyfriend who is also the father of my kids is extremely verbally abusive and occasionally physically abusive to me over his paranoid insecurities. Several police reports have been filed and he was even arrested but not charged in one case. I just want him to move out of the home that... Read more »

Taylor Silver
Taylor Silver answered on Mar 20, 2020

Your only option at this moment in time (given coronavirus closures) is to file a petition for an order of protection or to move out yourself. If you can't afford a local attorney to help with this, sclegal.org assists people with this issue if you qualify.

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: Can my daughters father stop me from going to open school performances?

I recently got a drug charge and DSS is involved I havent gone to court for it yet and I havent gotten any papers from DSS regarding anything. My daughter had a school performance and it was in the school gym

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Feb 27, 2020

Absent a court order or voluntary safety plan in place you can go to a public performance at your child’s school.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: I am wondering if my stepdad can adopt me if my biological dad's rights have been terminated due to abuse?

My biological dad's rights were terminated when I was 4 due to physically and sexually abusing me and my mother. I am now 16 and have been living with my mom and stepdad since I was 5. I'm trying to get adopted by my stepdad but am not sure if I need my birth father's consent, as he... Read more »

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Feb 15, 2020

Since you are under the age of 18 your mother and stepfather would have to file to do all of this. Assuming your biological father’s parental rights have been terminated you would not need his consent either for adoption or for a name change. I would recommend you reach out to an attorney near... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: My gf took are kids to ohio and now refuses 5o come home can i call the cops and file kidnapping charges

She is mentally unstable and off her medications

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Feb 4, 2020

You need to contact an attorney as soon as possible to advise you on this issue. Depending on the amount of time she has been gone and the current custody situation the answer could be different.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for South Carolina on
Q: My dad used to abuse me from 12-19. Now I don’t live there, but he does it to my stepsister. Is there anything I can do?

My stepsister is 16. The abuse was mental and physical. (I’m also in South Carolina)

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Jan 21, 2020

You need to contact law enforcement in that area that they live as soon as possible and filed a report so that they can begin an investigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: In SC, can I marry another person if I’ve been separated 7 years? SC Code 16-15-10 (1)
Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Dec 18, 2019

No. You cannot unless you do not know if your spouse is living. That is only a defense to the crime of bigamy. You need to file for divorce to be able to get remarried if you know your spouse to be living.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: I'm mentally ill and can't support myself financially but need to live separately to get a divorce, what do i do?

I'm a woman and i'm basically very anxious and struggle with borderline personality disorder, eating disorder, panic disorder. my mental and physical issues make it impossible for me to keep a normal job, i have no family here or friends so i have no place to stay but we both want to get... Read more »

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Dec 4, 2019

In South Carolina in order to get a divorce you must allege a fault ground or a no fault ground. No Fault is living separate and apart for one year. Fault based grounds are adultery, physical abuse, habitual drunkenness or drug abuse, or abandonment. If none of the Fault based grounds apply to you,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Juvenile Law for South Carolina on
Q: I would like to know how to become a paid guardian ad litem in the state of SC?

I have a bachelor's in Education and Psychology, and a master's in Counseling and Coaching. I am currently working with a residential non profit who provides housing and education for sex trafficking survivors. I would like to work with this population as a Guardian ad Litem.

Ryan D Templeton
Ryan D Templeton answered on Dec 4, 2019

Check out this website: https://www.scbar.org/public/get-legal-help/common-legal-topics/guardian-ad-litem/

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina on
Q: What are my options for getting my girls back?

I went to court in Anderson county October 25th, 2018. Custody was granted to the paternal grandparents. I have completed everything necessary to have custody returned to me. I am in desperate need of getting a new court date.

Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale answered on Dec 2, 2019

You would have to file a new case seeking custody of your children to get them back. I suggest you get a consultation with a lawyer to review the prior court order and to discuss whether you have sufficient change in circumstances to file for return of custody.

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