Myrtle Beach Family Law Attorney
ARE YOU REALLY READY FOR A DIVORCE?
This is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. A marriage is not something one can just walk away from and call it a day. Marriage is a legal contract. In order to get a divorce, a judge has to approve it. If children are involved there are even more issues that a judge must address related to custody, visitation and child support. The divorce attorneys at Russell Mace & Associates, P.A. try to ensure that a divorce is right for our clients. Once we get started, it is hard to turn back. We believe in representing our clients vigorously at every stage of the case. Our divorce attorneys in Myrtle Beach are able to assist you in your family law case.
HOW TO GET A DIVORCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA:
1. In most cases you will need a divorce attorney. The process is simply too complicated to handle without the assistance of an attorney. If there is any disagreement about anything related to the separation you will definitely need an attorney.
2. A separation agreement or petition for the dissolution of the marriage is filed with the family court. If you are in agreement on most things and the marriage is over with no fault of either spouse, a separation agreement is a good idea. The agreement will lay out the rules that each party will follow during the pendancy of the divorce. If the divorce is fault based (adultery, habitual drunkenness, desertion, physical abuse) a petition should be filed.
3. If a separation agreement is signed, then the parties will need to remain apart for a year prior to going to court for the final hearing. If a petition is filed a temporary hearing will be held and the discovery process will begin. This will usually take at least three months. Additionally, during this stage, discovery is requested. Discovery includes depositions, requests for admissions, and interrogatories. Both parties will also have to provide a financial affidavit.
4. Family law discovery can be time consuming and cause some animosity between the parties. This process can last from 30 days up to a year. There may be hearings before a family law judge during this process.
5. In Horry County, South Carolina, there is a requirement that the parties attend mediation prior to the final hearing for the petition for dissolution of marriage. The mediation is conducted by a local attorney and at times can be beneficial in settling some contested issues.
6. The final step will be the Final Hearing or if there are contested issues, a trial will be held. In South Carolina, divorce trials are heard by a family court judge. There is no jury. The trials can last from a few hours to days. If there are no disputed issues there will be a final hearing before the family law judge in which the judge will likely accept the agreement between the parties.
HOW TO HIRE A DIVORCE ATTORNEY:
- Make an appointment to come into the office for a consultation
- Be ready to talk to your attorney about everything
- Do not bring children to the interview
- Be aware that getting a divorce is expensive
- Attorneys in divorce cases usually charge an hourly rate. This rate ranges from $200.00 to $300.00 an hour for most attorneys in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- You will have to sign a retainer agreement and provide a deposit for attorney fees and costs (the deposit is usually several thousand dollars)
- You are charged for the time that the attorney dedicates to your case (this includes telephone, email, letters, etc.). It is important to realize that when you are speaking to your attorney, your attorney cannot work on anything else if they are paying attention to you. If the attorney did not bill for their time, they would not be able to take any telephone calls or review any documents. Remember, the attorney does not get to keep the hourly rate, that fee goes to the firm.
Divorce Cases are always some of the most difficult and time consuming cases. If children are involved there is even more stress on our clients to ensure the best interest of the children. Our divorce lawyers take the approach that these cases need to be resolved in a amicable manner. We make every effort to prevent the divorce from turing into a battle over children and money. However, we also have job to do in representing our clients and looking out for what is in the best interest of the children. If we have a client that we feel is not the best parent to have children, we will make sure our client understands our position and why. If we believe our client is the best parent to raise the children, we will not rest until our client has the children. Going through a divorce is never a good experience. However, it is a necessary event in some marriages. Things change over time and people change. As a firm policy we will ALWAYS ask our client if a divorce is really what they want. The divorce, child custody, division of assests, child support and ailimony are all considerations that need to be taken into account. Our divorce lawyers in Myrtle Beach are experienced in handling a variety of family law matters.
We handle the following areas of South Carolina Family law:
- Contested Divorces
- Uncontested Divorces
- Child Support
- Domestic Violence
If you need a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina divorce lawyer, contact our office to schedule a consultation at (843) 839-2900. You may also contact us online. We handle cases in Conway and Georgetown.
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Call today for a divorce attorney in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside, Georgetown, Conway, Florence, Columbia, Charleston, Valdosta, Atlantic Beach, Longs, Loris, Socastee, Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island, Green Sea, Tifton, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Daniels Island.