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Family Law

Family Law

The breakdown of a marriage, with the loss of a spouse accompanied by financial, emotional, and mental grief, is one of the hardest life events a person may endure. Barrow Law Firm is here to serve as your partner and confidant, eliminating as much pain as possible, developing fair solutions, and minimizing conflict – especially when children are present.

When you encounter a potential family law issue – divorce, property division, child custody, child support, or alimony – we encourage you to seek confident legal help, FIRST. Trust a competent representative to take care of the legalities of the process. We encourage you to take the first step by contacting Barrow Law Firm today.

Schedule A One Hour Family Law Consultation*

Benefit from our 30 yrs experience handling family law and divorce cases. Gain a better understanding of family law, and explain your situation. Meet our local team in Mt. Pleasant - easily accessed from I-526 - and understand our passion for individuals, family law and litigation. Discover why it is worth your drive and time to meet our experienced staff, who will save you money in the end. Find out why our reputable firm with high client retention rates is the right team to handle your case. Partner with a firm who's desire is to resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible. *Normal consult rates apply. Call for details.
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Divorce

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States. Circumstances occur or change, leaving a troubled marriage that can end in divorce. We have taken the time to answer some of the most common divorce questions below – what are the legal grounds for divorce in South Carolina?; How may I obtain a divorce quickly?; How can we settle our divorce without a trial? Please review this important information and then contact our law office to set up your first consultation with our divorce attorneys. With more than 30 years of experience with family law cases, we will help determine what you are entitled to receive and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Property Division

This is often the most volatile and contentious area of disagreement – who will get the 401K, rental property, home, beach house, investment accounts, and so on. As with dissolution of business partnerships disentangling financial matters, investments, real property, personal property, bank accounts, investment accounts, and business accounts is often driven by multiple factors – financial security concerns, anger, disappointment, and perhaps some bitterness. We are here and available to deal with complicated financial distribution issues and will fight vigorously for what you are entitled to receive.

Child Custody

Unfortunately, children are regularly used as pawns and bargaining chips during extremely difficult and bitter divorces. Dissolution of the marriage, alone, scars them enough; further conflict just worsens the wounds and delays or prevents healing. Children are notably perceptive and will detect behavioral differences when parents quarrel, even when they do so in private. Resolution of custody issues in a peaceful manner, without conflict and quarrels over parental time with children, scheduling, finances, and the like, facilitates the healing of emotional wounds for the children.

Barrow Law Firm tries to minimize or eliminate perennial conflict – especially with regard to the children – by developing fair solutions to financial issues and custody battles.

Child Support

One parent or the other will generally be required to pay child support to the other parent, depending upon disparities in earnings and earning capacity, child care expenses, insurance costs, custody arrangements, and parental time with the children. Please see our FAQ section below or contact our office directly for additional information regarding specific calculations of child support, which may be required. We’re here to help you obtain what is appropriate for your particular circumstances to help you raise your children in the best environment possible.

Alimony

Also known as “spousal support”, alimony is a legal obligation to pay or provide financial support to his or her spouse after marital separation or divorce. In the case of a relatively short marriage (generally less than 5 years in length) alimony may not be an issue, as courts often rule that the parties will be likely to resume their pre-marital standard of living without financial assistance from the other. On the other hand, dissolution of marriages of longer duration (10 years or longer) often triggers principles of alimony payment. This is especially true if there is a significant disparity in income or capacity to earn income. Family courts are courts of equity, enabling them to fashion decisions that are fair to all concerned; payment of alimony may therefore be for a finite period of time (rehabilitative alimony) or permanently (until death or remarriage), as the equities of the situation require.

If you think you are entitled to receive alimony, have questions about it, or need a divorce attorney, please contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Barrow Law Firm or Family Law cases? Consult our FAQ’s below, and then contact us directly for additional clarification. We are more than pleased to address any of your Family Law questions or concerns.

What are the legal grounds for divorce in South Carolina?

There are four legal reasons that serve as grounds for a divorce in South Carolina – adultery, habitual drunkenness/addiction, physical cruelty, or separation of the parties. Separation of the parties for a period of one year is considered a “No-Fault” ground for divorce, as the party seeking the divorce is not required to prove wrongdoing by the other spouse. Generally, we encourage our clients to proceed in this fashion, especially when children are involved, as this approach tends to minimize conflict. Obtaining the divorce based upon separation often takes longer than fault based divorces, but the benefits outweigh the burdens, especially when children are involved.

Obtaining a divorce based upon “fault” (adultery, alcoholism/addiction, physical cruelty) is often accomplished in less time than a “separation” divorce. However, this assumes that other aspects of the marital dissolution (child custody, support, alimony, property division, and other financial issues) are resolved by agreement. If no agreement is reached, the courts make the decisions for the parties; the courts have authority to consider the fault issues when dividing property and ordering payment of attorney fees by one party to the other.

How may I obtain a divorce quickly?

Ultimately, the court will grant the divorce, but hopefully all parties can agree on all aspects of the divorce before entering the courtroom. We will work with you to produce a written Settlement Agreement by which the parties agree to specific terms settling all of the issues incident to the marriage. The Agreement will resolve such things as support, child custody, and parental time with the children, property division, asset division, and the like. Parties sign the Agreement, it is presented to the Court for conversion into a Court Order, and assuming valid grounds for a divorce exist, a divorce will be granted. The Court Order is enforceable through the contempt powers of the Court.

If a Settlement Agreement cannot be reached between the parties, then a full-blown trial is scheduled, and the Court will make all of the decisions regarding all issues of the marital dissolution. This approach is time consuming and expensive.

What happens when a spouse doesn’t comply with the court order?

If one of the parties doesn’t comply with the terms of the Court Order, then he/she can be brought back to the court and forced to comply; the Court has the authority to incarcerate, fine, or otherwise punish the recalcitrant former spouse.

Who generally receives child custody?

If one parent is an alcoholic, drug addict, or legally irresponsible, then custody is usually easier to determine. However, when both parties are decent parents who provide loving environments for their children, the general rule of thumb is equal time with both parents. Exceptions to the general rule include unusual circumstances such as one parent maintaining odd employment hours or frequent overnight travel. Generally, all designated parental times with the children revolve around the school calendar with vacation and holiday schedules.

How much child support am I entitled to receive?

South Carolina has published official child support guidelines which include a matrix of factors, such as the income of the parties, child care expenses, health insurance, number of children, and how much time they are projected to be with each parent. For a quick estimate, we recommend using the Child Support Calculator provided by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

For best and accurate results, however, we strongly encourage a consultation with our team of lawyers. It’s important to remember that in all child support cases, the Family Court Judge has the final authority to determine the exact amount of child support.

What is your experience with Family Law cases?

Elliot Barrow has been practicing Family Law for more than 30 years and founded Barrow Law Firm in 1990.

Do you only help households with large assets or children present?

No. While we have the knowledge and expertise to help individuals with complex financial portfolios we also represent those whose financial pictures are less complex and complicated. We regularly represent those who may or may not have minor children.

How can we settle our divorce without a trial?

The common way to help a party resolve disputes without having a trial is the mediation process, governed by formal rules of procedure. A certified mediator such as Elliott Barrow, or his professional colleagues Emily Johnston and Todd Manley, will help with mediation when appropriate. Both parties to the marriage will come to the law office, and we will work until as many issues as possible are resolved. Our hope is to settle all issues, formalize the terms of the agreements in a written Settlement Agreement document, affix signatures of the parties, and then seek Court approval as soon as possible.

What can I expect in my initial consultation?

When you meet with our firm, we will gather information from you to assist us in analyzing your legal divorce challenges. Specifically, we will:

  • Investigate the circumstances of your situation
  • Apply legal principles to the results of the investigation
  • Provide a case evaluation
  • Explain whether we believe you have a valid claim or defense
  • Work with you to develop a plan of action to achieve your goals

The entire process normally takes an hour, and by the end of our consultation we will have, an understanding of all pertinent issues, those that can be resolved by agreement and those that may require mediation or litigation. A plan of action will be developed, and financial arrangements will be made. The majority of our correspondences after the initial consult will be conducted via email and phone.

How can I contact you?

We welcome you to contact our staff at our office during our business hours below. However, if you have an immediate request, please email us directly at blf@barrowlawfirm.com or fill out our contact form.

Barrow Law Firm
1051 Chuck Dawley Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
843.352.1440 (phone) | 877.434.4404 (toll free)
843.352.1441 (fax)
blf@barrowlawfirm.com

Business Hours
Mon – Fr: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: By Appointment