Alimony in Greenville, SC

What Is Alimony?

Judges award alimony to try to equalize the financial resources of a couple facing divorce. When deciding whether to award alimony or not, a judge will consider whether one spouse has a demonstrated financial need and if the other spouse has the ability to pay.

Judges will usually award alimony when the spouses have unequal earning power and have been married for a long time. If you are planning to request alimony, or you think that your spouse might request it, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney.

Davis Law - Protecting Your Rights

The seasoned family law attorneys at Davis Law have years worth of extensive knowledge and experience with family law including alimony in South Carolina. We fully understand the nature of alimony discussions as well as the ins and outs of the system. We will help you get the alimony entitled to you or fight for you if you are receiving unreasonable demands for alimony from your spouse who may not be entitled to it. Staying true to our passion to help our clients during their most difficult times, we offer consultation free of obligations. We are here to work with you and help you through this process.

Things To Know About Alimony

Alimony refers to the “spousal support” in the form of payment awarded by a family court to your spouse (or former spouse) in a legal separation or divorce agreement. Some states in the U.S. may also define it as “spousal maintenance”. Whichever definition it takes, it is designed to give financial support to the spouse who is earning much less income, or sometimes, no income at all.

Either the husband or wife can be awarded alimony in South Carolina depending on certain conditions. It entitles you and your spouse to live the same quality of life you both have enjoyed while still married. Especially in cases wherein one spouse has historically been the breadwinner while the other has given up a career in order to raise the children will place the latter at a huge disadvantage following separation or divorce. Spousal support can take many forms, either payment is set for every month, or through a one-time lump sum payment (can also be through installments).

Is Alimony Required Here In SC?

Alimony is not automatic. Separations or divorces in South Carolina do not require alimony.  However, some cases can be ordered alimony if the family court deems it appropriate. Many factors come into play when deciding if ordering alimony is appropriate, say, there is an unequal earning power between the spouses rendering one of the two to need financial support in order to continue the standard of living he or she is accustomed to during the marriage. Or, when there are significant differences in earning potential and/or education level between the spouses.

Can I Enforce Alimony?

Family courts have a dim view when a spouse is proven guilty of deliberately violating a court order. As a matter of fact, court-ordered alimony is not to be taken lightly and failure to pay can lead to serious sanctions and criminal consequences. In order to force compliance, a family court judge may issue a withholding order which can mean automatic deductions from the spouse’s paycheck, other types of garnishments, fines, attorney fees, or worse, jail time.

On the other hand, if you are required to pay for spousal support but you can’t make the payments because of significant changes, we at Davis Law may ask the court through a Rule to Show Cause to request some modifications to the original court order to change the alimony amount. It is preferable though not necessary that you let us know in time before you fall behind in your payments.

What Factors Affect Alimony?

When South Carolina judges decide the alimony type, amount, and duration, they consider factors that may include:

  • How long the marriage lasted, including the spouses’ ages at marriage and at divorce.
  • Employment history and earning potential.
  • The current and the anticipated earnings, expenses and needs of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s physical and emotional condition
  • Educational background of each spouse to determine the need for any additional training or education – promoting the increase of the spouse’s income potential.
  • Marital standard of living.
  • Marital and nonmarital property awards to each of the spouses in a divorce.
  • Marital misconduct or fault of either spouse.
  • Custody of the minor children
  • Existence and extent of support obligation from a prior marriage
  • Tax consequences to each of the spouses.
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant.

Consult With No Obligations

If you are looking to learn more about what works best for your unique case regarding any legal family matters including divorce, alimony, and child support in all levels of complexity, Davis Law can help. Let us talk to you today regarding alimony in South Carolina.