Few people going through Family Court are experts. The process can be confusing, and it is often rife with misinformation, fables, or anecdotes picked up from family members and friends. To help demystify the some of the confusion about South Carolina family law, let's play a game of true and false with some common divorce questions. We'll start by exploring the truths.
Women get to keep the engagement ring
True. Though you may have heard that all property acquired by a couple during the course of the marriage is divided equitably, this rule does not apply to engagement rings. Courts have decided over and over that engagement rings are gifts that were given in an anticipation of a future wedding. Given that the engagement ring was given prior to marriage, the ring is seen as separate property belonging to the wife.
Children have input into custody decisions
True (with some caveats). While children may not have the right to dictate with whom they will live following a divorce, it is true that they are given a voice in the process. If a child, especially an older, more mature child, has a strong opinion about living with one parent over another, that child can make his or her opinion known. That information, along with other factors, is taken very seriously by family court judges when determining which parent should be granted custody.
You have to go to court to get a divorce
True. While most issues are resolved outside of court, typically through negotiations between lawyers or with the help of mediators, the divorce itself must be finalized in a courtroom. Out-of-court negotiation is a critical component of any divorce, but every divorce case in South Carolina must include you going to Court and having a judge sign an Order before it becomes legally binding.
Don't miss tomorrow's post, in which we will take a closer look at some of the more popular falsehoods. If you or someone you know is facing a separation or divorce, contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or click here to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.