Juvenile Law Attorney

Separation, Divorce & Child Custody

If you are facing divorce or separation, you need an aggressive family law attorney to protect your interests.  Hiring a family law attorney is advisable even in cases of uncontested divorces, as once the divorce is finalized, the property settlement is final. You want to make sure you get what you are entitled to when it comes to property.  In South Carolina, any personal or real property acquired during the marriage is fair game.  Non-marital property which is excluded includes property acquired before the marriage; land, items or money gifted or inherited to only one spouse during the marriage; and property included in a prenuptial agreement.

For a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must also be legally separated for one full year. There are strict rules when it comes to separation, so it is important to have a family law attorney guide you through the process.

And, of course, child custody is also a consideration.  Child custody agreements must be written in the best interest of the child(ren).  A family law attorney can help you and your spouse determine a custody agreement that is in the best interests of the child(ren) and/or represent you in court should there be a custody dispute.


You must be legally separated from your spouse for a minimum of one year before filing for divorce.  During this time, you may not cohabitate with your spouse.  Spending significant time with your separated spouse, including dates and overnight stays, may result in the one year clock starting over.

It is important to note that while you are legally separated, you are still considered married in the state of South Carolina.  Depending on your situation, you may file an Order of Separate Support and Maintenance with the court.

Be sure to retain a family law attorney during your time of separation to ensure you interests are protected.


Divorce often takes an emotional toll on the family. Chad Shelton is sensitive to divorce issues and works to help you through the process.  There are many considerations when it comes to divorce, which is why it is advisable to retain a qualified family law attorney. Areas which may need to be addressed before the divorce is finalized include:

  • Property division
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Child custody
  • Child support

South Carolina law has four conditions for an at-fault divorce: physical cruelty, habitual use of alcohol or drugs, adultery or desertion.  If you wish to file for a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must be legally separated for a term no less than one year.

It is always better if you and your spouse can agree to the terms of the divorce outside of court and/or in mediation.  However, if you are unable to reach an amicable agreement, a family court judge will hear the case and rule on property distribution, alimony, child custody and child support.  As a family law attorney, we can represent you both in and out of court.

If you are considering divorce, contact us today for a free consultation.

Child Custody

Child custody is one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce.  We are here to fight for your parental rights!

Child custody is determined by numerous factors.  It is important to retain a family law attorney who is knowledgeable in South Carolina custody laws.  There are many different types of custody agreements in South Carolina. It is in the best interest of both parties to work out a custody agreement through a family law attorney.  If the parties are unable to agree on custody, then the case will go to family court where a judge will determine which arrangement is in best interest of the child(ren).

  • Joint Legal Custody: Parents share in the decisions regarding the child(ren)
  • Sole Legal Custody: One parent has the authority to make decisions regarding the child(ren)
  • Joint Physical Custody: Parenting / physical time is divided in the best interest of the child(ren)
  • Divided Custody: In this rare custody arrangement, one child goes with one parent and the other child goes with the other parent

Child support is another factor in child custody disputes.  We also handle child support recalculations and reconsiderations.

Facing a divorce with children involved?  It is important to have a family law attorney guide you through the child custody process.