All parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. In South Carolina, we have guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of child support. The South Carolina Child Support Guidelines can be found at dss.sc.gov. The website explains how child support is calculated, as well as provides an online calculator to help estimate the appropriate amount of child support for your case.
The issue of alimony can be a difficult issue to settle and to litigate. There are no state guidelines for who pays alimony, or how much alimony should be paid. Alimony is typically reserved for long-term marriages in which one party has been the primary breadwinner, or the only breadwinner, and the other party has not worked, or makes much less and doesn’t have the ability to earn significantly more than they have earned during the marriage. There are several different types of alimony, including permanent, periodic alimony, rehabilitative alimony, lump sum alimony and reimbursement alimony. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is that an adulterous spouse in South Carolina can be barred from receiving alimony. If you commit adultery while you are still living with your spouse, or if you commit adultery after you separate from your spouse but before you are divorce, you could be barred from alimony. To prove adultery in South Carolina, a party must demonstrate that their spouse would be inclined to have a romantic, sexual relationship with a specific person, and that their spouse has had the opportunity to have had a romantic, sexual relationship with a specific person. This can be proven by numerous phone calls, text messages, emails, private meetings, dates and outings together, in addition to proof that your spouse and their paramour have had an opportunity to be intimate because they have been behind closed doors together. Oftentimes, a spouse who believes that they may have to pay alimony will hire a private investigator to follow their spouse before they file a case for separation or divorce.
There are many factors that must be considered by the court in determining whether or not you qualify for alimony, or whether you have to pay alimony. At Barrett Mackenzie, we are here to help you sort through the factors that can be beneficial to your case, as well as detrimental to your case.