South Carolina Lawyers Handle Separation Proceedings
Reliable guidance from our Pickens family law attorneys
Though South Carolina law does not offer spouses legal separation status, you can protect your interests if you choose to live apart while remaining married. At Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. in Pickens, we are knowledgeable family law attorneys who assist residents of communities throughout the area, including Greenville, Clemson and Easley. We can explain how an Order of Separation and Maintenance can address key terms relating to parenting arrangements and financial matters. If you choose this option, our lawyers will work diligently to reach an agreement that gives you the chance to move forward successfully.
Lawyers represent spouses seeking Orders of Separation and Maintenance
There are several reasons why spouses might want to stay married while residing in different homes. A divorce might go against your religious beliefs or concerns over health insurance could compel you to remain legally wed. Whatever your particular motivation might be, our firm will pursue fair arrangements concerning important concerns such as:
- Custody and visitation — When parents no longer live together, it can be very difficult on the children they share. We take great care to develop an appropriate custody and visitation plan so that young people can maintain their bonds with both parents.
- Child support — Leaving the family home does not alter a parent’s responsibility to meet the financial needs of their son or daughter. As part of the separation order, child support will be clearly spelled out. This might be based on the state’s formula, but our attorneys can also address specific expenses, including education costs or payment for extracurricular activities, that are not considered under the formula.
- Spousal maintenance payments — A wife or husband who relies on their spouse for income could be put in a very tough position if they no longer share the same household. After reviewing the circumstances, we look to establish fair spousal maintenance terms to cover the period of separation.
- Access to marital assets — Even when couples live apart, mortgage payments for the marital home and other shared expenses continue. It is critical to conduct a thorough review of financial matters and set clear rules on access to accounts, existing obligations and division of tangible property.
As in a divorce, you initiate the process of seeking a separation decree by filing a summons and complaint. However, as a separation does not terminate the legal relationship between you and your partner, achieving consensus on these matters usually is the best path, rather than relying on the judge to decide. We understand the importance of skillful negotiation in these situations and can bring in a mediator to move the process along, if warranted.
Family law attorneys advise on separation orders and divorce
There’s no end date on an Order of Separation and Maintenance. These orders are often used as a precursor to no-fault divorce which, in South Carolina, requires spouses to live apart for at least one year before filing to dissolve the marriage. Should you opt for a divorce, you might wish to use the terms of your separation as a framework for a marital settlement agreement, saving you time and money. We don’t back down when negotiating separation arrangements, because you might be living under them for several years.
Contact a South Carolina family lawyer to discuss an Order of Separation and Maintenance
Acker Lambert Hinton P.A. represents South Carolina spouses in negotiations and proceedings relating to Orders of Separation and Maintenance. For a confidential consultation regarding your legal options, please call 864-668-1013 or contact us online. Our office is in Pickens and we also serve clients in Greenville, Easley, Clemson and other locations.