Consult With Our Team to Ensure Fairness in Your South Carolina Alimony Case.
Couples filing for divorce should understand the specific laws regarding South Carolina alimony or spousal support payments. Alimony can be awarded by the court to either spouse, and if you are filing for divorce it is important to know the types of alimony available, and the factors that affect the amount of payments. Alimony can be paid during the process of divorce as well, and is termed ‘separate support’ until the divorce is granted.
Types of South Carolina Alimony
There are three types of alimony commonly awarded in South Carolina:
1. Permanent, Periodic Alimony
This type of alimony is a monthly payment that will continue until one of the spouses dies or the supported spouse remarries.
2. Lump Sum Alimony
In some cases, a lump sum of alimony is the most appropriate. This can be paid at one time or in installments.
3. Rehabilitative Alimony
This is a short term payment designed to allow the supported spouse to go back to school, look for employment or change to a higher paying career.
4. Reimbursement Alimony
This type of alimony is for a spouse who may have supported the other’s education or career while they were married. The alimony payment amounts may be equal to the contributions made to the supported spouse.
Factors Affecting South Carolina Alimony Payment Amounts
There is no one formula for alimony payments, and a court will consider many factors in determining the right amount of spousal support. Some of those factors will include:
- The education and employment of each of the spouses,
- The ages of the spouses,
- The standard of living while they were married,
- Any marital misconduct by either spouse,
- Child custody agreements and the impact on ability to work, and
- The actual expenses of each of the spouses.
The effect of marital misconduct on alimony payments can be a major factor, especially if the behavior contributed to the failure of the marriage such as with physical cruelty or drunkenness. Adultery, if proven as grounds for divorce, will prohibit the offending spouse from receiving any alimony. This includes any affairs that may occur after separation, but before the divorce is finalized.
In a divorce case, the judge will have complete discretion in awarding the amount of alimony, but if both spouses can agree not to bring the issue to trial they may set the amount themselves. Sometimes this is an advantage, but requires the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer.
Dell Family Law is well versed in the South Carolina alimony laws and can help you arrive at an amount through settlement, or advocate for your position at trial. Please contact our South Carolina alimony attorney to evaluate all of the divorce, alimony and support decisions that will affect your future.