Divorce

Alimony and Child Support

Each divorce case has its own set of issues which must be addressed. Alimony and child support are both forms of payment which can be ordered as part of a divorce in order to provide one or both parties with financial resources apart from what they will obtain through their property distribution.

Alimony

If alimony is an issue that you and your soon-to-be former spouse will be addressing in your divorce case, South Carolina Family Law Attorney Ronald F. Johnson can help you to obtain the results that you are looking for by pursuing an award of one of the four types of alimony in South Carolina, which are as follows:

The first type of alimony is permanent periodic alimony, which is referred to as spousal support or separate support and maintenance if it is ordered during divorce proceedings but before the divorce becomes final. It is paid once or twice a month, and it is permanent, which means that payments continue until the supported spouse cohabits for over ninety days, the supported spouse remarries, or either spouse dies. Permanent periodic alimony can be modified or even terminated upon proof of a substantial change in circumstances.

The second type of alimony is rehabilitative alimony, and it is only available in cases where a party provides credible evidence that the supported spouse is likely to become self-supporting within a specific time frame. It is awarded for a term of years and payments are made on a regular basis. An award of rehabilitative alimony terminates if the supported spouse cohabits for ninety days or more, the supported spouse remarries, or either spouse dies.

The third type of alimony is lump sum alimony, which is an award of a fixed dollar amount that may be paid all at once or in installments. Lump sum alimony is unique in that it does not terminate upon remarriage or even when the payor spouse dies. An award of lump sum alimony does terminate upon the death of the supported spouse. If one spouse has made considerable personal sacrifices in order to support the other spouse’s business or education, enabling them to earn more money, an award of reimbursement alimony, the fourth type of alimony, may be appropriate.

Child Custody and Visitation

When a couple with children divorces, their family life can change in many ways while remaining the same in other ways.  Parents have a great deal of freedom to choose what they would like their family life to be like during and after their divorce. When parents approach divorce in a thoughtful manner, they are often able to create outcomes that work well for both themselves and their children.

Experienced South Carolina Child Custody and Visitation Attorney Ronald F. Johnson has helped clients throughout South Carolina obtain child custody and visitation agreements that meet both their own needs and the needs of their children. Mr. Johnson understands how much parents care about their children, and his compassionate and caring approach to assisting clients has helped many clients to negotiate or mediate successful resolutions to their child custody and visitation issues. Sometimes, parties are unable to use negotiation or mediation to resolve child custody and visitation matters. In situations where litigation is required, Mr. Johnson provides steadfast and effective representation while pursuing his clients’ desired results in a courtroom setting.

Child Custody and Visitation Disputes

Most divorce cases are settled instead of going to trial, including divorce cases of couples with children. South Carolina Child Custody and Visitation Attorney Ronald F. Johnson has helped many clients negotiate or mediate child custody and visitation agreements that meet the unique needs of their families much better than custody and visitation agreements designed by the courts ever could. Many parents enter their divorce believing that negotiation or mediation could not possibly work in their situation because of the level of conflict between themselves and their soon-to-be former spouses. Some of these parents are able to go on to negotiate or mediate child custody and visitation agreements.  This is because by choosing to work with an attorney, they actually reduce the level of interpersonal conflict between themselves and their soon-to-be former spouse so that ideas are able to be exchanged and considered in a less emotionally intense atmosphere.

Attorney Ronald F. Johnson understands that each family is unique, and as such, he encourages parents to pursue resolutions to their child custody and visitation disputes that address the unique needs of their families. When parents work with their attorneys to design child custody and visitation agreements that accommodate both of their work schedules, all of their children’s school schedules, important family and community activities, and the children’s developmental needs and ages, everybody  in the family wins. These agreements work much better for families than child custody and visitation agreements that are imposed on parents by court because they do not know all of the details and intricacies of each family’s situation.

Litigation of Child Custody Matters

There are times when negotiation or mediation do not result in the parties working together to create a child custody and visitation arrangement that they can both agree to. South Carolina Child Custody and Visitation Attorney Ronald F. Johnson has the in-depth knowledge of the factors that are important to the courts in making their decisions in child custody and visitation litigation. His experience in litigating child custody and visitation matters enables him to understand how the facts of your situation translate into information that can be presented to the court to help the judge determine an outcome for your child custody and visitation dispute that serves the best interest of the child or children involved.  Contact us at (803) 794-0140 to learn more about your legal rights and options with respect to all types of family law matters.

Child Support

Child support is money that is paid by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent to help the custodial parent cover the costs associated with meeting the children’s day to day needs. South Carolina couples calculate child support using a formula called the child support guidelines. The child support guidelines account for factors like the income and earning capacity of the parties, child care expenses, health insurance expenses, among other things.

Support Guidelines

The guidelines provide an estimate of an appropriate child support amount for the parties. The actual amount of child support can be greater or less than the guidelines suggest, either by agreement of the parties or by order of the court after evidence is provided which demonstrates why a deviation from the guidelines is necessary. After child support has been awarded, it can be modified by either parent upon proof that a significant change in circumstances has occurred since the court ordered the present amount of child support. When such a change is shown to have occurred, the guidelines will be reapplied to determine the correct amount of support.

If you require assistance with a family law matter, including child custody and child support, South Carolina Family Law Attorney Ronald F. Johnson has extensive experience with child support calculations and he can help you to pursue an award of support that meets the needs of your family.  Call our office today at (803) 794-0140 to schedule your free consultation.

Department of Social Services Child Removal Cases

Being accused of abusing or neglecting your child or children can be heartbreaking, overwhelming, and just plain scary. Sometimes, allegations of abuse or neglect are completely unfounded, brought about by people who are vengeful or judgmental. At other times, parents may need a little help and support in getting their home, parenting, or family situation to best meet the needs of their children. Parents who have been accused of abuse or neglect deserve the assistance and support of a knowledgeable South Carolina Family Law Attorney. Attorney Ronald F. Johnson has helped parents facing allegations of child abuse and neglect to protect their rights to parent their children and to keep their families together, and he may be able to help you, too.

What Attorneys do in DSS Child Removal Cases

In cases where children are moved from the home of their parents, the Department of Social Services will be represented in court by an attorney. Parents also have the right to be represented by counsel. Retaining an experienced South Carolina Family Law Attorney is the best way to get the support and legal advice that you need during this difficult time. Your attorney can help you to understand the process that DSS child removal cases follow, the allegations that have been brought against you, what is expected of you, and who the various people are that you will meet over the course of your case and what each of them can do for you. More importantly, your attorney can help you understand the options that are available to you every step of the way so that you can make choices and take actions that are likely to help your family stay together.

Family Placements May Be Available

If your child is removed from your home for any length of time, it is best for both you and them that they remain in the care of people who can meet their current needs. Your attorney can help you advocate for a family placement in the event that your child or children must leave your home.

The Safety Plan

As part of your case, you and your attorney will work with DSS to create a safety plan with action items that will help you address the concerns that DSS has regarding the care and well-being of your children. Your attorney can help you to negotiate a plan that you are likely to be successful with, because accomplishing the goals set forth in your safety plan is the way to get your child back into your home.

Court Orders

In addition to doing what is required of you by your safety plan, the court may also make orders that require you to do certain things like paying child support or attending visitation. Your attorney can advocate for you in court to help ensure that any orders that the judge issues are things that you will be able to comply with.

If you have been charged with a crime or are facing a challenging family law matter, South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Ronald Johnson will help you to pursue the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more about how Attorney Ronald Johnson can help you, call our office today at (803)794-0140 to schedule your free consultation.