Experienced Charleston Divorce Lawyer
Take Control of Your Divorce
Many people envision divorce through the lens of a courtroom. And while settling your differences in court is a viable option, it often carries additional stress and legal costs that many want to avoid. The state of South Carolina requires that all divorce cases first attempt to settle through mediation. Therefore, you need a divorce lawyer who is experienced not only in court but also in negotiation.
I am attorney Ingrid H. Rudolph, and from my law office in Charleston South Carolina I represent individuals throughout the Charleston metro area and surrounding communities with a variety of family law matters, including divorce and marriage dissolution. As your divorce lawyer, I use my negotiating skills to help you settle your differences without the necessity of proceeding to court. However, if you and your former spouse cannot agree, as your divorce attorney, I am never afraid to represent your interests before a family court judge.
In South Carolina, it is required that you live here a minimum of three months prior to filing (when both spouses reside here in South Carolina) for divorce. If only one spouse lives here in South Carolina, the plaintiff must reside here for one year prior to filing. Your divorce is typically filed in the Family Court in the county where the Defendant resides.
Grounds for Divorce
In South Carolina, you may file divorce on one of the following grounds:
- Physical Cruelty
- Desertion/Abandonment for a period of one year
- Habitual drunkenness/habitual drug use
- Living separate and apart (and no cohabitation) for a period of one year
In South Carolina your marital property will be divided in a fair and equitable manner. You and your spouse are each entitled to keep all non-marital property. Non-marital property is property that was acquired before you were married, or acquired by a gift or inheritance, including increases in valuation that occur during your marriage. When dividing your marital property, the court will consider the length of your marriage, marital misconduct, the value of the marital property, the income of each spouse, the health of each spouse, the existence of any retirement funds, and child custody arrangements. Often times the court will want to consider whether or not it is desirable to allow the spouse having custody of the children to remain in the marital home for a reasonable period after the divorce. As an experienced Charleston divorce attorney, I can help you understand which of these factors will weigh heavily in your own divorce. Together, we will negotiate the equitable division of assets such as:
- Houses and vacation homes
- Bank accounts
- 401(k) plans and other retirement funds
- Life insurance policies
- Expense accounts
- Shared debt
- Shared businesses or business valuations
Whatever the issue, I maintain a professional, compassionate approach designed to achieve the best possible outcome of your divorce. In many of my cases in the Charleston South Carolina area I have been successful as a divorce attorney in obtaining amicable settlements without going to trial, saving my clients' court costs and further emotional stress.
In actions for separate maintenance and support, the South Carolina courts will only grant alimony or separate maintenance if the court deems it appropriate in your circumstances. As your divorce lawyer, I can determine what facts family court will consider in your case. No alimony will be awarded to a spouse who commits adultery before the formal signing of a written marital settlement agreement. Likewise, no alimony will be awarded to a spouse who commits adultery before entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement. At my Charleston family law office, I have prepared many such orders and am ready to assist you in preparing orders that comply with your specific requirements, that both protect you and meet the formal requirements of the court. There are many factors the court considers in deciding how much alimony to award, and for how long. As an experienced South Carolina divorce attorney, I can tell you from a practical standpoint what those factors are and how they will affect your particular circumstances.
Based on my extensive background as a divorce lawyer in Charleston I realize that probably the most emotionally taxing aspect of divorce can be dealing with child custody issues. South Carolina law dictates that the courts must make child custody decisions based on the best interest of the child. As your family lawyer I will work with you to make the best of this difficult situation.
Often times parents will come up with their own agreement in terms of child support and your divorce attorney will submit it to the court. Otherwise the court will follow South Carolina guidelines and look at various factors such as gross income, number of children and amount of alimony. You can go to the South Carolina Child Support Enforcement website and use this online child support calculator to get an idea of what the payments might be. I will use my knowledge of the divorce laws to help you find a fair resolution.
Charleston Family Advocate
If you have decided to begin legal proceedings, contact my Charleston South Carolina law office online or by calling (843) 814-4215 to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. I represent clients throughout the Charleston area including Summerville, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and all the islands. I offer evening or weekend appointments by arrangement. I accept payments by cash or Visa, MasterCard or Discover. I also offer payment plans where applicable.
For more information some good resources can be found on the South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Services website.