Advocating For Your Best Interests
Exploring Cost-Effective, Out-Of-Court Alternatives To Spousal Support
During your marriage, you and your spouse have supported one household on a certain income. Now you will need to support two. In many situations, this change puts significant financial strain on one or both spouses. South Carolina’s spousal support (sometimes called alimony, temporary support or spousal maintenance) laws are designed to alleviate this strain as fairly as possible.
At the law firm of Beverly K. Ballinger, P.A., in Charleston, South Carolina, we regularly save clients’ time and money by negotiating and/or mediating out-of-court spousal support and property division settlements that satisfy the needs of both parties while avoiding an uncertain court battle over this issue of spousal support. However, if the other party refuses to agree to a fair settlement, we will vigorously advocate for our clients’ best interests at trial.
Serving individuals and families in the Tri-County area and throughout the Lowcountry, our firm represents parties requesting spousal support, as well as those opposing an award of spousal support.
Factors Considered In Awarding Spousal Support
Unlike other states, South Carolina has no law that guarantees an award of spousal support. If a request for spousal support is made, the court will consider several factors, but ultimately, the decision to award spousal support is in the discretion of the court. There is only one situation in which your Charleston spousal support lawyer can definitively tell you what will happen beforehand: where there is proof a spouse who has committed adultery, that spouse is not entitled to receive spousal support.
- Duration of the marriage
- Marital misconduct or fault
- Contributions of the parties
- Income of each spouse
- Health (physical and emotional) of each spouse
- Need for training and education
- Nonmarital, separate property of each spouse
- Retirement benefits
- Existence of a spousal support award
- Use of the marital home to a spouse
- Tax consequences to each spouse
- Encumbrances on the property and other debts
- Child custody and child support obligations and arrangements, if applicable
- Any other relevant factors