Divorce Attorney in Clifton SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Clifton, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Clifton. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Clifton, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Clifton" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Clifton, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Clifton SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Clifton, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Clifton, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Clifton, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Clifton our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Clifton

A divorce in Clifton means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Clifton, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Clifton, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Clifton, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Clifton, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Clifton, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Clifton, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Clifton, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Clifton, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Clifton, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Clifton for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Clifton, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Clifton, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Clifton, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Clifton, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Clifton, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Clifton, SC

East Spartanburg growth: Plans revealed for $60 million Clifton Mill redevelopment

OneSpartanburg, Inc. announced a private-public partnership on Monday with Greenville developer, M Peters Group, to redevelop the former site of Clifton Mill Number Two, another indication of development interest progressing to the east side of Spartanburg.Spartanburg County, which acquired the site in 2013 for $226,000, will ...

OneSpartanburg, Inc. announced a private-public partnership on Monday with Greenville developer, M Peters Group, to redevelop the former site of Clifton Mill Number Two, another indication of development interest progressing to the east side of Spartanburg.

Spartanburg County, which acquired the site in 2013 for $226,000, will transfer 30 acres to the developer for public improvements and private redevelopment. Once the project is complete, M Peters Group will transfer 19 acres of public space back to the county as a public park. The development is a $60 million investment from M Peters Group.

Residential and commercial development, as well as park and recreational improvements, are all elements of the project.

“There's 30 acres out there right now and we don't need 30 acres to develop our development. There's no reason for us to take more than we need. So, what we're going do is make public improvements,” said Mark Peters, president of M Peters Group, about the partnership. “Rather than pay the county money, we're going to do an exchange. The county is working with us to give us an economic development agreement. That way we can charge rents that can be supported by this community.”

County council approved the development project unanimously Monday evening.

M Peters Group plans to construct a 239-unit multi-family residential development with studios, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, all with views of the Pacolet River. Apartments will be priced at market rates. The architects for the project are Perkins & Will and SGA Narmour Wright Design.

“All these buildings are placed in a way to maximize the views of the river as opposed to them just running straight along the bank like they might typically be, “ said Jennifer Gosnell, executive vice president at M Peters Group about the residential design. “These are tilted and shifted around, trying to get around each other to allow anybody that lives here to have some view of the river.”

The redevelopment will also include 7,000 square feet of commercial space with intention to incorporate a riverfront restaurant and a place for kayak rentals. M Peters Group plans to enhance the existing informal kayak put-in on the river and transform it into a formal livery with a take-out 3 hours downstream in Pacolet.

Clifton Park, including the Clifton Beach area, will undergo improvements. M Peters Group will build bath houses and picnic shelters for beachgoers and improve a small playground area at the park.

Play. Advocate. Live Well!, or PAL, is also participating in recreational advancements of the redevelopment by expanding the Daniel Morgan Trail System with an additional 4.1 mile connector between Glendale and Clifton. The county and M Peters Group will partner to provide a pedestrian bridge across the river to connect to the trail.

Laura Ringo, PAL’s executive director, said the collaboration with M Peters Group aides in the overall progress of The Daniel Morgan Trail System, or The Dan, a 50-mile urban trial system of a collection of future and existing trails in Spartanburg. Ringo says one of the long-term goals of The Dan project is to develop a trail system that connects Middle Tyger River with the Pacolet River.

“Partnering with the M Peters Group on this project has given us an opportunity to reach a milestone in that progress,” Ringo said. “It's going to be an opportunity to connect two of our really beautiful natural amenities, the Lawson Fork Creek and the Pacolet River, so we're thrilled to be part of this.”

Another transformation for one of Spartanburg’s historic textile mills

The redevelopment of Clifton Mill represents a new dawn for another of Spartanburg’s historic textile sites. Over the past decade several other mill renovation projects kicked off across the county, including the Drayton Mill redevelopment, Inman Mill and the upcoming Converse Mill project, to name a few.

Clifton Mill No. 2 was built in 1888 as a part of Clifton Manufacturing Company, founded by Dexter Edgar Converse in 1880.

The mill was damaged in 1903 after the flooding of Pacolet River, but was rebuilt and expanded in the 1950s. The decades after brought various ownership and a number of financial hardships to site No. 2, but the mill operated in some capacity into the 1990s. After 124 years, the historic mill was ultimately demolished in 2012.

After the county purchased the property in 2013, it utilized the popularity of Clifton Beach to pursue the development of Clifton Park. The area has undergone some recreational improvements since the purchase. However, the beach was tentatively closed earlier this year after two separate drowning incidents over the summer.

County councilman, David Britt, said the M Peters Group redevelopment of Clifton Mill will improve the overall safety of the beach and park.

“We'll still include our Parks and Recreation folks out there, keeping the area clean, but it will just be different,” Britt said. “It won't be a river that you go jump in, it'll be a nice park. I think it'll be an improvement and I don't think we'll have these problems down the road.”

Britt described M Peters Group vision for the development as transformative for the Clifton area.

“They will reimagine the Clifton, Cowpens, Glendale area,” Britt said. “It will impact that whole area for not even just the rest of our lives but for generations to come.”

Kathryn Casteel covers growth and development for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Contact Kathryn at KCasteel@shj.com or on Twitter @kathryncasteel.

These 23 Rare Photos Show South Carolina's Cotton Milling History Like Never Before

South Carolina cotton mills sprang up in the mid-to-late 1800s and were a leading industry in South Carolina well into the depression era when the price of cotton plummeted and many mills went under. The lives of the mill workers and the history of South Carolina textile mills during this era remain a...

South Carolina cotton mills sprang up in the mid-to-late 1800s and were a leading industry in South Carolina well into the depression era when the price of cotton plummeted and many mills went under. The lives of the mill workers and the history of South Carolina textile mills during this era remain a point of curiosity, almost as much as the lives of our ancestors who lived through the Great Depression.

These 23 rare photos document mill workers, particularly the children, and give an unprecedented insight into the lifestyle as well as the livelihoods and the family life of cotton mill workers in South Carolina.

This rare glimpse into the life of cotton mill workers in the first two decades of the 1900s provides some insight into the lifestyle and hardships endured in this era. South Carolina was built on the backs of these laborers, who literally put the clothing on the backs of their fellow South Carolinians and others around the country.

For another look into South Carolina’s past, take a look at these 21 Rare Photos Taken In South Carolina During The Great Depression.

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Charleston plumbers, public works overwhelmed with service calls in cold weather weekend

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After dangerously high pressure on the Charleston Water System, officials say customers aren’t in the clear just yet, but conditions are looking better after a hectic holiday weekend.

Laura Clifton, Communications Coordinator for Charleston Water System, says due to pipe leaks and bursts, customers were using in total nearly 100 million gallons of water a day. That’s dangerously close to the 105-million-gallon threshold that would trigger a boil water notice.

“Overnight, we saw a dramatic decrease in the overnight we saw a dramatic decrease in our demand. We went from about 95 million gallons a day, down to 80 million gallons a day. So that is great news,” Clifton says.

She says their call center and crews have been working hard for the past four days. Clifton says the water service is waiving the water shut off fee for a crew to come to your home and turn off the system because of the emergency, but she expects that won’t last much longer.

“Since about Christmas Eve, our call center has received more than 1,400 calls from customers who have leaks in their home. So that’s at least 1,400 homes that we know of who are leaking water that doesn’t always account for people who are out of town on vacation, or people who have leaks, but were able to stop them themselves. So, all of that water usage accumulates, it really puts a high demand on our system,” Clifton explains.

Clifton says crews have also taken the liberty of turning off water at homes with visible leaks or bursts that appeared empty over the weekend. If you come home from out of town to your water turned off, just give them a call.

At the same time, plumbers across the Lowcountry are swamped with calls about pipe problems. Plumb Pro serves the tri-county area and offers a 24/7 emergency line. Danny Osterman, Commercial Consultant at the company, says it has been all hands-on deck for the past few days.

“In a normal week, per day we’ll probably get about 100-150 calls. Just this past weekend, we fielded over 1,500 in 48 hours,” Osterman says.

Osterman says the company always has someone on call to manage the 24/7 line, but many workers stepped up, leaving their home on the holiday to help out. When it comes to water emergencies, an uncontrolled leak or burst pipe can often be the first of many problems.

“Being proactive and not reactive can save you thousands of dollars. You’re talking about flooring damage, about insulation damage and then mold mitigation at that point so that’s where those dollar signs really get to adding up,” Osterman says.

To prevent hundreds or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, there are a few things you can do to protect pipes in cold weather.

Should your pipes freeze, Osterman says you can use a hairdryer or space heater to defrost them and you should monitor a space heater the whole time. If you are worried about the situation, he says you should call a professional or your local water system.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Judge halts South Carolina’s new stricter abortion law until state Supreme Court review

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge put South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy on hold Friday until the state Supreme Court can review the measure, giving providers a temporary reprieve in a region that has enacted strict limits on the procedure.Judge Clifton Newman’s ruling that put the state’s abortion law back at roughly 20 weeks ca...

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A judge put South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy on hold Friday until the state Supreme Court can review the measure, giving providers a temporary reprieve in a region that has enacted strict limits on the procedure.

Judge Clifton Newman’s ruling that put the state’s abortion law back at roughly 20 weeks came about 24 hours after Gov. Henry McMaster signed the bill into law without any notice, which had left dozens of people seeking abortions in limbo and created the potential for a legal abortion becoming illegal as a doctor performed it.

“It’s extraordinarily difficult not only for the women themselves, but for their doctors — not just the doctors at Planned Parenthood — but hospitals all across the state who need to understand what to do in an emergency,” said Vicki Ringer, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in South Carolina.

The developments in South Carolina are a microcosm of what has played out across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade a year ago, allowing states to decide their abortion laws and leaving patients scrambling to find care wherever they can in situations where weeks or even days can make a huge difference.

Other news

States are moving in different directions after the Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health opinion ended the federal right to abortion.

Current restrictions Post-Dobbs laws

All

stages of pregnancy

6-

8 weeks

12

weeks

15-

22 weeks

24

weeks or later

Source: AP reports

The South Carolina measure joins stiff limitations pending in North Carolina and Florida, states that had been holdouts in the South providing wider access to the procedure, threatening to further delay abortions as appointments pile up in the region.

The state has seen the number of abortions climb sharply as other Southern states passed near-total bans. Before the overturn of Roe, less than 1 in 10 abortions in South Carolina were performed on people who lived out of state. Now, that figure is near 50% and the number of abortions each month has at least tripled, according to state health data.

The law passed Tuesday by the General Assembly is similar to a ban on abortion once cardiac activity can be detected that lawmakers passed in 2021. The state Supreme Court decided in a 3-2 ruling that the 2021 law violated the state constitution’s right to privacy.

Legislative leaders said the new law makes technical tweaks that should sway at least one justice to change his mind.

But Newman said it wasn’t his role to figure out if that would be successful.

“The status quo should be maintained until the Supreme Court reviews its decision,” Newman said. “It’s going to end up there.”

Hours after the ruling, lawyers for the state asked the Supreme Court to either cancel Newman’s order or hear the case as quickly as possible to “protect the lives of countless unborn children,” they wrote in court papers.

Planned Parenthood immediately sued after the law went into effect Thursday, saying South Carolina’s abortion clinics were flooded with canceled appointments from patients further along in their pregnancies and doctors were forced to carefully review the new regulations on the fly.

The abortion rights group said the new law was so similar to the old one that clinics and women seeking treatment would be harmed if it were allowed to stay in effect until a full court review.

Nearly all of the 75 women with appointments for abortions over the next several days appeared to be past six weeks, Planned Parenthood attorney Kathleen McDaniel said.

“There is irreputable harm. It is happening. It has already happened,” McDaniel said.

The majority opinion in the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling striking down the 2021 law said that although lawmakers have the authority to protect life, the privacy clause in the state constitution ultimately gives women time to determine whether they want to get an abortion and most women don’t know they are pregnant six weeks after conception.

Justice Kaye Hearn wrote the opinion. She has since had to retire because she turned 72 and was replaced by a man, making the South Carolina’s the only high court in the country without a woman on the bench.

“I would say that nothing in the law has changed,” McDaniel said. “The only thing that has changed is there is no longer a woman on the Supreme Court.”

The changes in the new law are directed at another justice in the majority, John Few, who wrote his own opinion saying the 2021 law was poorly written because legislators didn’t show it did any work to determine if six weeks was enough time for a woman to know she was pregnant.

Few suggested he would have found an even stricter full ban on abortion constitutional, saying that if a fetus had all the rights of a person, then a ban would be like child abuse or rape laws that don’t violate privacy rights.

Lawyers for the state leaned on the hope Few will change his vote

“We would strongly encourage the court to review that decision very carefully, to understand it focuses on one law, the 2021 act,” state assistant attorney general Thomas Hydrick said. But, he said, the new law is a good faith attempt to correct flaws lawmakers saw in how the justices interpreted the 2021 law.

Newman said that’s outside his role as a lower court judge. “Am I being asked to overrule the Supreme Court?” he asked.

Lawmakers continued to say they are confident they wrote a bill that will stand up to the high court’s scrutiny this time.

“While I respect Judge Newman’s decision, I remain convinced that the heartbeat bill is constitutional and that the Supreme Court will agree,” Republican state Senate President Thomas Alexander said in a statement.

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman guest speaker at NAACP banquet

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman recently served as the guest speaker at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at the Kennedy Center in Greeleyville.He was introduced by his daughter Circuit Court Judge Joycelyn Newman. The Father Daughter team is the first to serve together in the state of South Carolina.Judge Newman is a native of Greeleyville, he is the former Assistant Solicitor in Williamsburg County. He delivered a very rousing and informative message.Photo ProvidedI stumbled across an old magazine fe...

Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman recently served as the guest speaker at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at the Kennedy Center in Greeleyville.

He was introduced by his daughter Circuit Court Judge Joycelyn Newman. The Father Daughter team is the first to serve together in the state of South Carolina.

Judge Newman is a native of Greeleyville, he is the former Assistant Solicitor in Williamsburg County. He delivered a very rousing and informative message.

Photo Provided

I stumbled across an old magazine feature of mine and it made me recall stops I’d made along that long, winding road called “Career.” Some memories were good; some not so great. Let’s be honest. Is there anyplace more artificial than fluorescent-lit cube farm workplaces? You put in eight hours, maybe, and call it a day. You put in your 40 hours, maybe, and call it a week. You go through team-building nonsense and do the bidding of the suits and all seems well. Then come Friday afternoon, you hightail it out of there. Monday morning, the cycle begins anew.

Another truth. Is there anything more temporary than workplace friends? You work together, go to lunch together, and socialize after work and sometimes weekends, but how long do you remain friends when you no longer work together? Invariably the bonds of friendship weaken, then break. I’ve seen it happen and so have you. Seems to me what keeps workplace colleagues friends is a sense of purpose. A lot of folks work to collect a check, but some see their work as a mission. Some of you will disagree, but it could be you work or worked in a place that added meaning to your life. Consider yourself fortunate.

I’ve worked for employers whose subject matter was abysmally lifeless, but I worked for one employer where the work hummed with life, and that brings me to my time as a writer of all things natural. At the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources I made friends that have lasted throughout my life. They have lasted because of what we share. The work I did there stayed with me and today I still write for South Carolina Wildlife magazine and I follow the work of its associate, The Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund.

Jim Goller, executive director of the HHWF and I have been friends for over 40 years. Robert Clark and I met at DNR and we have been friends for over 40 years as well. The three of us, besides being friends, share a love for natural resources, outdoor recreation, and the sheer beauty of the natural world. All three of us at one time worked together for South Carolina Wildlife magazine, which will mark its 70th anniversary in 2024. Our friendship, you could say, came naturally.

Since 1954 South Carolina Wildlife has fostered a love for outdoor treasures. The magazine continues to give readers a close look at the natural world—from the ivorybill woodpecker to pitcher plants and barrier islands, cove forests, lightning bugs, striped bass, saltwater fishing, whitetail, and more.

The Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund provides scholarships for young people interested in careers in natural resources, where I’m sure they will make like-minded friends for life as well. The HHWF supports DNR projects such as Marine Education and programs and projects including fish stocking and tagging and the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series and much more. It helps put people in the great outdoors and helps keep South Carolina’s outdoors great.

Work isn’t always work. A day afield in a Carolina bay, on a bay, river, or lake or in deep woods is a joy. You put in as many hours as you can before the setting sun calls it a day. A week writing about such places often exceeds 40 hours, but so what. There is no such thing as the workweek. You work each day except it isn’t work when you love what you do. How can anyone not love a career working with all things natural.

Other careers where you never get outside? Well, someone’s got to do it, and I suspect the friends they make there won’t last over the long haul. You can’t spell friend without e-n-d. A career devoted to wildlife, however, does indeed make for a better life. I’m fortunate to write about nature and I’m fortunate to count men like Robert Clark and Jim Goller as lifelong friends. A sense of purpose keeps us going.

About Tom Poland

Tom Poland is the author of fourteen books and more than 2,000 magazine features and columns.

Tom writes about the South, its people, culture, land, natural wealth, and beautiful detritus—ruins and abandoned places. He travels back roads looking for forgotten places, captivating people, and vestiges of bygone times. Much of that work finds its way into books, columns, essays, and features.

Tom grew up in Lincoln County, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism. He began my career as a scriptwriter, moved into magazine work, then wandered into the book world. His work has appeared in magazines throughout the South. Among his recent books are Classic Carolina Road Trips From Columbia, Georgialina, A Southland, As We Knew It, and Reflections of South Carolina, Vol. II. In April 2018 the History Press published his book, South Carolina Country Roads.

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