We are proud to announce that our Senior Partner, Ben Stevens, has been elected and sworn-in at this year's meeting to a three-year term as a Vice-President.
Can my spouse empty our joint bank account and leave me with nothing? We talk with people every day who are considering separation or who believe their spouse might be considering it, and this is a fear at the top of every list. Given that it could leave you with no money to pay your household expenses, buy food, provide for your children, or pay your attorney, it's certainly not an unreasonable fear.
South Carolina family courts are courts of equity, which means that the parties are asking for remedies, not damages. Money and other property are certainly an issue in domestic litigation, but the final decisions are made by judges, not juries. While most of our cases eventually settle, trials can and often do, happen in Family Court. Find out more by reading our blog on what happens at trial in a South Carolina Family Court.
Some of the most frequent questions we get are “Why does the other side need to know how much money I have in my bank account?” or “What difference does it make how much I have in my retirement account?” These questions are often a byproduct of confusion about the financial disclosure process in general, and the requirement of the Financial Declaration in Family Court, in particular. So, what is a financial declaration, and why do you have to complete one when going through a case in a South Carolina Family Court?
When a couple with a high net-worth begins the divorce process, the monetary value of their assets will automatically add another layer of complexity to already immensely difficult time for their family. While you may often read that the wealthiest couples also hire the most high-powered attorneys in their areas, you will rarely hear about those same couples hashing out their differences in a public trial in Family Court.
Our team of family law attorneys is used to hearing the words “equitable division” or “equitable apportionment,” but they can be confusing to our clients. Too often, a misunderstanding of the law can lead one or both spouses to agree to a division of marital assets that will not be in their best interests or the best interests of their children later down the road. You don't have to go through this alone or put up with threatening emails from your spouse anymore.
Family Law FAQ: I Own a Business and Am Facing Divorce. Why is it So Important for Me to Hire an Experienced Legal Team to Represent Me?
If you are facing a South Carolina divorce as a business owner, you may have already encountered the painful reality of equitable division. What some people may not realize is that small businesses (and large ones, too) are also subject to equitable division, and dividing a business in a divorce requires special attention and an experienced legal team of professionals to make sure your interests are protected. These are some of the questions that may be running through your mind.
Each day our world becomes more intertwined. It's never been easier to travel or to maintain homes in multiple countries around the world. This means it is more likely for family law issues to cross borders; making the question of what to do when faced with a cross-border, or international, issue...
Office Closure Notice for Fourth of July Holiday 2017.
South Carolina is one of the few states recognizing common law marriage. Currently, only eight states and the District of Columbia fully recognize it. The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell opened the door to same-sex common law marriage in South Carolina. There are currently only three jurisdictions officially recognizing same-sex common law marriage: Iowa, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. However, a recent South Carolina decision could add another to the list.
Jordan W. Peeler, our Junior Associate, was recently given the opportunity to attend a conference in New York City sponsored by the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) in order to be able to better assist our Senior Partner, Ben Stevens with our International Family Law cases. Jordan offers an interesting perspective on South Carolina Family Court Temporary Hearings after listening to several of the presentations at the IAFL conference, which will know will help to better serve our local clients, as well.
When professionals, athletes or celebrities divorces, there can be a lot at stake, especially after a long-term marriage. Having the right team in place to protect the assets which will create the foundation for your future is essential. Read our blog to find out more.
Did you know that 1 out of 5 adults has a mental health issue? That means that every two to three families are dealing with a mental health issue at any given time. Look down the street. That means every couple of houses in your own neighborhood. You are far from alone, even though it may feel that ways at times.
Relocation cases are often considered some of the most difficult private cases in family court. There are almost never "winners" in these cases because regardless of which parent is moving if the move happens, the parent and child relationship will undoubtedly be affected. Regardless of whether you're facing a current relocation issue or you're merely considering a move in the future which will necessitate a custody modification case, these are good rules of thumb to keep in mind.
Child custody is undoubtedly the area of divorce which causes the most anxiety for parents going through separation or divorce. We have all heard the stories of how divorce "ripped" a family apart and "ruined" the children's childhood. We know that is one thing which strikes fear in our clients' hearts so here are five tips to help guide parents who are (or might be in the future) experiencing a separation or divorce.
Memorial Day Closing Notice
A Fool for a Client? Why You Should Think Twice Before Representing Yourself in a South Carolina Family Court Case
Everyone has heard the old saying, "Anyone who represents themselves In court has a fool for a client." Many people assume acting as your own lawyer is a good way to save big bucks. While it may save some expense on the front end by not paying legal fees, if you are considering representing yourself in a divorce or contested child custody case, you should carefully consider the costs, both financial and emotional, associated with acting as your own attorney. Ask yourself these questions before making your decision:
In April 2017, the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and the AAML New York Chapter jointly presented the Introduction to International Family Law conference at the Down Town Association in New York City. The focus of the conference was an introduction to international family law concepts and practice for attorneys who work with IAFL Fellows, like our Senior Partner, Ben Stevens. The conference speakers were family law professionals and leading lawyers who are fellows of the IAFL from throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and South America. The litigation team of The Stevens Firm attended this informative and fascinating conference to learn the latest trends to better serve our clients dealing with international family law issues.
Technology is now a part of almost every facet of our lives, even our romantic lives. Therefore, more and more often the topic of "sexting" (the sharing of graphic or intimate photos via text message and email) is an issue we are dealing with in family court. Clients want to know if it's ever "okay" to engage in such romantic or flirtatious behavior with a new love interest, especially when both parties have clearly made the decision to leave the marriage and no longer feel romantically towards each other.
Parental alienation is becoming a more frequent discussion in family courts. The concern is often raised when there is difficulty with a parent-child relationship or parent-child access. Unfortunately, parental alienation is a term which is often misunderstood.
If you are considering filing for a divorce, there is a lot to be thinking about when you have children. Here are some helpful tips and things to think about which we've offered to many clients over the year.
Jonathan W. Lounsberry, was recently elected to the South Carolina Bar House of Delegates to fill a vacancy in the 7thJudicial Circuit.
It's a rare occurrence these days when we do not have to address social media in a client's divorce or child custody case. It used to be almost an afterthought at the end of an initial client meeting. Now, due to the prevalence of social media in our society (all the way to the White House, even!), the "social media talk" is often the very first thing we have to talk about with our clients.
After watching shows like The Kardashians or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it's no wonder that the general public believes that the more property or money you have, the more contentious and expensive a divorce will be. However, not every high asset divorce has to be that way. In fact, by following some of these tips, it's possible to have a fairly smooth divorce even when there's a lot of money or property involved.
If you’re facing a change in your marriage and family life, you’re not alone. The best thing you can do is to find out what your options are, and learn how to protect yourself, your assets, and/or your children. One of the most common questions someone in this situation asks is, "Do I really need to hire an attorney to represent me?"