Alimony Attorneys Serving Spartanburg & Greenville, SC
Even though you are getting a divorce, you should be able to maintain the standard of living that you enjoyed during the marriage. This is the main purpose of alimony, or spousal support, in South Carolina.
If you are either a spouse who is seeking alimony or one who is challenging your spouse’s claim for support, it will be important to work with a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law. After all, your financial future will be at stake.
At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., our goal will be to protect your rights and to help you to enter an alimony arrangement that is fair to all parties. Simply contact us by phone or online to arrange for a confidential consultation. We serve clients throughout Spartanburg, Greenville and across Upstate South Carolina.
Types of Alimony in South Carolina
Either the husband or wife may be able to obtain alimony in South Carolina. There are four basic types of alimony that may be sought:
- Permanent periodic alimony – This type of alimony may be paid on a regular basis until the supported spouse remarries or cohabitates with another for a period of 90 days or more or until either spouse dies. The amount could be modified based on a change in circumstances of either spouse.
- Lump sum alimony – In contrast to periodic alimony, this alimony is a fixed amount. It can be provided in one payment or in regular installments. The supporting spouse’s obligation to pay this alimony does not end when the supported spouse remarries or if there are other changed circumstances. The amount is not subject to modification.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This is a fixed amount of alimony as well. It can be awarded to a spouse in one installment or on a periodic basis. It can be terminated upon the supported spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation, the death of either spouse or the occurrence of a specific event in the future – for example, until the supported spouse earns his or her degree or completes a training course. It can also terminate if “unforeseen events” occur that frustrate the ability of the supported spouse to become self-supporting or of the paying spouse to continue making payments.
- Reimbursement alimony – This alimony is also a fixed amount. It may be awarded to a spouse who invested time and energy into keeping the household running while the other spouse underwent education and training to increase his or her earning potential. Reimbursement alimony is terminable on the remarriage or continued cohabitation of the supported spouse, or upon the death of either spouse. it is not terminable or modifiable based upon changed circumstances in the future.
Determining the Amount of Alimony
If you and your spouse cannot agree on alimony, a Family Court judge will make the decision. The judge will have wide discretion in determining the type and amount of alimony to award and will focus on the following factors:
- Duration of the marriage and ages of you and your spouse at the time of marriage and at the time of separation
- Physical and emotional condition of each spouse
- Educational background of you and your spouse (and the need of each spouse for additional training or education in order to achieve the spouse’s income potential)
- Employment history and earning potential of you and your spouse
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Current and reasonably anticipated earnings and needs of both spouses
- The properties of the spouses
- Which spouse has custody of the children
- Marital misconduct or fault of either you or your spouse
- Tax consequences
- Any support obligations from a prior marriage
Keep in mind: If you are found to have committed adultery, you would be barred from receiving alimony under South Carolina law.
Your Attorney’s Role in the Determination, Enforcement and Modification of Alimony
Your attorney can play a crucial role in your alimony case.
For instance, before the amount of alimony is determined, your lawyer can make sure there is full disclosure of your spouse’s finances, including bank accounts, stock options, deferred compensation plans, real estate and other assets.
If you are the supported spouse, your lawyer can take steps to make sure that your spouse fulfills his or her obligations. If you are the supporting spouse, your lawyer can seek a modification of your payments if you are struggling to keep up with them.
Contact Our Upstate South Carolina Alimony Attorneys
At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., we believe that skilled and experienced legal assistance can help you to save time, money and stress when dealing with alimony issues in a divorce. Please contact us to learn more about our approach to assisting our family law clients.
Sources / More information
- Title 20, Domestic Relations (Chapter 3, Divorce), South Carolina Legislature