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South Carolina Divorce 101

Divorce is a difficult decision for anyone, whether it's you or your partner who initiates it. It's a painful experience that can leave you feeling shattered and alone in the dark. When you made your wedding vows, you did so with the intention of being together for life. You invested a lot of time and money into your wedding, inviting friends and family from all over South Carolina to share in your joy.

Now, you're faced with the harsh reality that you and your former spouse are no longer together. As your family law attorney in Bluffton, SC, we understand how overwhelming this can be. We've assisted many clients through the divorce process and had the knowledge and tools to help them work through it and move on to greener pastures.

The CDH Law Firm Approach to Child Custody in South Carolina

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau states that 25% of children younger than 21 live with just one parent while the other parent resides elsewhere in the country? In such circumstances, many families must navigate the complicated and legally complex process of child custody. As seasoned family law attorneys, we have represented clients in all aspects and legal stages of child custody and support.

We focus in providing services for a range of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Drafting Reasonable Proposed Parenting Plans
  • Preparing Child Support Calculations
  • Communication with a Guardian ad Litem (if applicable)
  • Securing De Facto Custodian / Psychological Parent Rights
  • Negotiating Agreements Relating to Child Custody
  • Prosecuting Claims Related to Domestic Violence
  • Prosecuting and Defending Claims for
  • Adoption,
  • Termination of Parental Rights
  • Custody, and
  • Visitation
  • Defending Claims Alleging Abuse / Neglect by the Department of Social Services

Every family has its own distinct characteristics, and as such, child-related agreements must also be customized to fit each unique situation. In South Carolina, our team of skilled family law attorneys takes the time to understand our clients' individual goals and needs and tailor our services accordingly.

 Law Firm Bluffton, SC

South Carolina Alimony 101

When you get married, you go into the partnership believing that you'll be together forever. It makes sense, then, that most divorcing couples don't know very much about alimony in South Carolina (also referred to as spousal support). They ask questions such as:

  • Who gets alimony?
  • What is a reasonable amount of alimony?

Fortunately, working with a family law lawyer in Bluffton, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Bluffton, SC
Family Law Attorney Bluffton, SC

What is Alimony in South Carolina?

Many individuals often mistake alimony for child support, but they are, in fact, two distinct forms of financial obligation and not mutually exclusive. Alimony was established to safeguard a supported spouse in the event of a divorce or separation. For example, a spouse who did not work during the course of the marriage would generally have a stronger alimony claim than a spouse who worked throughout the marriage. Likewise, a spouse who worked throughout the marriage but made less than the other spouse would have a stronger alimony claim than a spouse who worked and earned equivalent income to the supporting spouse.

In many cases, a spouse may choose to stay at home to tend to the children and manage the household. Oftentimes, the spouse who remains at home has sacrificed their career or education to care for the family. In such instances, a divorce could leave the financially weaker spouse in a state of financial turmoil. Without that support system, they will have to start over from scratch. These are some factors the Court will consider in evaluating an appropriate alimony case. Throughout your marriage, you have structured your quality of life based on a budget determined by your finances. While all expenses are shared by both partners, what happens if you have been financially dependent on your spouse and need to support yourself?

At Cobb, Dill, & Hammett, LLC, we aim to assist you in securing the alimony you need to support both yourself and your children. At the same time, we want to ensure that you are not overpaying your spouse, if you are the one required to pay. You may be required to pay an amount that could leave you in a difficult financial situation. Regardless, it's crucial to have the right legal representation to guide you through the alimony process in South Carolina.

The CDH Law Firm Approach to Alimonyin South Carolina

Some people may assume financial responsibilities to a former partner are end with the filing of a divorce decree. However, if the court has mandated alimony payments, then the financial obligations survive. Failure to meet those obligations can lead to serious legal and financial consequences. Family law attorneys at CHSA Law, LLC have years of experience representing clients throughout the divorce process, including alimony determinations.

Our legal services cover many aspects of alimony law, such as:

  • Negotiating Temporary and Final Alimony Payments
  • Modifying Alimony
  • Providing Advice on Reasonable Alimony
  • Filing to Collect Unpaid Alimony

Though our family law attorneys are fearless negotiators and litigators, we always strive to keep your legal proceedings as seamless and straightforward as possible. Our goal is to help reach an agreement on alimony that is reasonable for both you and your spouse. However, compromises aren't always possible. If needed, our lawyers will fight aggressively on your behalf to help ensure your financial rights are protected.

 Law Firm Bluffton, SC

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Trust the Cobb, Dill, & Hammett Difference

Dealing with family law cases can be incredibly trying, particularly when it comes to matters of separation or divorce. As your family law attorney in Bluffton, SC, we recognize the challenges you're facing. With that in mind, know that we're committed to offering empathetic legal counsel on your behalf, no matter how contentious or confusing your situation may become. Contact our law offices today for your initial family law consultation.

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Latest News in Bluffton, SC

Mayor's Memo: Regional cooperation is helping 'Starship Hardeeville' to prosper

Mayor of HardeevilleOn Dec. 1, the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Region Luncheon on Hilton Head Island. The keynote speaker was U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and he gave the sold-out crowd of 500 his perspective on national issues. Graham is an engaging speaker, and I could never give an appropriate summary of his talk, but his ending was noteworthy. “The state of the region is good, the state of the country not so good.”I am very proud to say that Hardeeville has b...

Mayor of Hardeeville

On Dec. 1, the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Region Luncheon on Hilton Head Island. The keynote speaker was U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and he gave the sold-out crowd of 500 his perspective on national issues. Graham is an engaging speaker, and I could never give an appropriate summary of his talk, but his ending was noteworthy. “The state of the region is good, the state of the country not so good.”

I am very proud to say that Hardeeville has been invited to be part of this event for the past several years. Each year. I join the mayors of Hilton Head and Bluffton, and the chairman of Beaufort County Council, to give a brief overview of our jurisdictions at this luncheon. I believe this is vitally important because we need regional strategies to meet the challenges of growth in our area. Our roadways and waterways, the environment, housing shortages, workforce shortages, crime, homelessness, and education are not confined to jurisdictional boundaries. All these things, and more, are common to the entire Lowcountry, and it will take us all working together to make a bright future for the next generations.

One goal of my speech was to emphasize the growth of Hardeeville and its effects on the area. As I often say, “What happens in Hardeeville does not stay in Hardeeville.”

Hardeeville has grown more than 300% since the 2010 Census and is expected to have 30,000 residents by 2030. That’s tenfold higher in just 20 years! Additionally, 15 million square feet of warehouses are in various stages of construction in the southern part of the city along U.S.17. Along the U.S. 278 corridor, commercial development is expected to accelerate this decade at exit 8, at Margaritaville and at Okatie Crossing, as the rooftops keep multiplying.

And multiply they will. The city is on pace to issue 1,200 new single-family permits in 2023 and approved master plans in these same districts call for another 15,000.

Besides Graham, State Sen. Tom Davis and State Rep. Weston Newton were in attendance. A specific goal I had was to emphasize the high cost of expanding our once-rural roadways to accommodate the growing, and anticipated future growth, of traffic. The 11.8 miles of the “Triangle” (S.C. 170-U.S. 278-Argent Boulevard) will cost $200 million to widen, and that is in today’s dollars. To widen the five miles of U.S. 278 between exit 8 and the Triangle could easily reach $100 million. That’s $300 million for only 17 miles of the two vast counties! Yes, we need to help ourselves and pass a sales tax, but we also need help from our state and federal partners.

Regional cooperation has been a persistent message in my speeches over my years as mayor, and it was again a central theme in this speech. Groups like SoLoCo, the Lowcountry Area Transportation Study (aka LATS), and the new regional housing trust are testaments to the wonderful cooperation across jurisdictions, and I am proud to be part of that movement. Our state senators and representatives have done a great job the past several years; helping our area get funds for Exit 3, the Hilton Head bridges and the widening of I-95, to name a few projects.

Davis has obtained funds for the housing trust and Habitat for Humanity and many more efforts. Our S.C. House representatives Bill Herbkersman, Newton, and Jeff Bradley have helped with many community projects. But we need so much more and we must remain united if we are to provide for the enormous needs of the future.

Everyone paid tribute to outgoing Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, who has been a huge supporter of Hardeeville, and it was her initiative that led to Hardeeville’s inclusion in this event. She was the driving force behind the formation of SoLoCo, and LATS has gelled as a team during her many years as chair. She has been a stalwart captain of the ship known as Bluffton and has guided its amazing growth. Most remarkable is the pride that she has fostered in her community, which has made Bluffton not just a fast-growing municipality, but a wonderful and desirable family community. I will miss her constant presence, but she will remain on my speed dial.

I ended my speech as follows ("Star Trek" fans will understand): “At my first State of the City address in January 2017, I coined the term Starship Hardeeville. Since that time our crew, led by Admiral Michael J. Czymbor, has built a whole new world. Now let us all fly together as the United Federation of the Lowcountry. Live long and prosper.”

Happy holidays, everyone. Be safe as you celebrate, and may we all enjoy good health and prosperity in 2024!

Harry Williams is the mayor of Hardeeville.

Mayor's Memo: Bluffton's parade winners, take a bow

Mayor of BlufftonWhat a great start to the holiday season. The first weekend in December, we celebrated our tree lighting and Christmas parade. Last week we were honored to have the Menorah Lighting at Martin Family Park. Congregation Beth Yam was the lead in a wonderful evening with several hundred in attendance.Also, this past week at our monthly Town Council meeting, we announced the winners of our Christmas Parade entry competition. Each entrant is worthy of being celebrated one more time. We have three award...

Mayor of Bluffton

What a great start to the holiday season. The first weekend in December, we celebrated our tree lighting and Christmas parade. Last week we were honored to have the Menorah Lighting at Martin Family Park. Congregation Beth Yam was the lead in a wonderful evening with several hundred in attendance.

Also, this past week at our monthly Town Council meeting, we announced the winners of our Christmas Parade entry competition. Each entrant is worthy of being celebrated one more time. We have three awards given each year; judges are selected residents. The competition was stiff, but here are the winners.

PALS/MRHS Animal Welfare Club: Best Float

Representatives: Cheryl Curry & Elizabeth Patterson

The May River Animal Welfare Club is a partnership with Palmetto Animal League, a nonprofit, no-kill rescue whose members believe every animal deserves a second chance at life. This is the group's seventh year as a club, providing members with volunteer opportunities and supporting Palmetto Animal League in fundraising events and community outreach. Students spend hours after school for the week prior to the parade, ending their hard work with a pizza party the night before!

Horan Brothers Band: Best Performance

Representative: Jeff Rigg

There are six members of the band who have been together for 14 years. The band plays locally in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, Savannah, and Daufuskie Island. The band has been playing the Bluffton Christmas Parade for about a decade.

"Dancing Through The Bluff" “State of Mind” Award

Representative: Nancy Martin

This float was inspired by the movie "Elf." "Dancing Through The Bluff" was built by Dave, Nancy, Paul, Nicki, Tom, Patti, Bruce and Cathy, who live in the lovely community of Woodbridge. This is just a group of friends who wanted to do a float this year.

Many residents came up to me after the parade and asked why Battery Creek High School Band was not present. This band has become as popular as the Marine Corps Band and has consistently been a highly rated performance from our parade judges.

We surely missed them, but if you watched the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, you would have seen the Dolphin Pride Marching Band, along with the Blue Velvet Dancers and the Blue Diamond Flag Troupe, marching on Thanksgiving morning. We hope we will have them back in Bluffton next year, but we are so proud of their accomplishments.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and wonderful holiday season.

If you ever have questions about our wonderful town, don’t hesitate to contact Town Hall at 706-4500 or email Lisa Sulka at lsulka@townofbluffton.com.

Bluffton executive lands C-suite role with national organization

Bluffton resident Michael S. Chen has been selected as UNICEF USA’s new chief financial officer, effective Jan 10.As chief financial officer, Chen will be responsible for leading the finance team while ensuring all financial functions meet the needs of UNICEF USA, a UNICEF USA news release stated.Chen joins the leadership team at UNICEF USA reporting to President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis and steering the organization’s Finance and Audit comm...

Bluffton resident Michael S. Chen has been selected as UNICEF USA’s new chief financial officer, effective Jan 10.

As chief financial officer, Chen will be responsible for leading the finance team while ensuring all financial functions meet the needs of UNICEF USA, a UNICEF USA news release stated.

Chen joins the leadership team at UNICEF USA reporting to President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis and steering the organization’s Finance and Audit committees.

"After a deliberate and thoughtful search process, Michael remained our top choice to lead UNICEF USA’s finance team. His robust knowledge and experience, coupled with his personal connection to UNICEF differentiated him among other, well-qualified candidates,” Nyenhuis said in the release. “I am confident that Michael’s skillset will propel our team forward and allow for our organization to continue to excel as we work relentlessly for the rights of every child.”

Chen joins UNICEF USA after serving 10 years as senior vice president, finance for American multinational medical technology company Becton Dickinson & Co., the release stated. In this role, Chen was responsible for the successful integrations and delivery of the deal financial commitments of two transformative acquisitions Becton Dickinson & Co. undertook. In addition, he led the integration of the Finance function from the two acquisitions into BD’s Finance organization and its corresponding transformation.

“Having been a beneficiary of UNICEF’s generosity during my time in refugee camps as a child in Malaysia and the Philippines, I have seen its direct positive impact on my family, and other children in the refugee camps,” Chen said in the release. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to join such an impactful organization and looking forward to furthering UNICEF USA’s mission and purpose.”

Prior to Becton Dickinson & Co., Michael was the vice president and controller for the Oncology business at Varian Medical Systems, where he led all financial aspects of that business unit, and General Electric where he progressed through various finance leadership roles during his 13 years there, the release stated.

Chen earned his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

As a leading fundraising committee for UNICEF, UNICEF USA has raised almost $12 billion in donations and gifts-in-kind to support UNICEF’s work for children since 1947.

Condos for cars? Buyers in Bluffton development won’t live there, but their vehicles will

Developers are building condos off S.C. 170 in Bluffton, but people won’t live there. Their cars will.CarVillage USA, an “automotive enthusiasts’ club,” will have 31 car condos on a five-acre site between the Village at Verdier and S.C. 170 near Seagrass Station.Despite the use of the term condo, these aren’t going to be residences. A car condo is essentially a climate-controlled, indoor garage for multiple cars. Owners will b...

Developers are building condos off S.C. 170 in Bluffton, but people won’t live there. Their cars will.

CarVillage USA, an “automotive enthusiasts’ club,” will have 31 car condos on a five-acre site between the Village at Verdier and S.C. 170 near Seagrass Station.

Despite the use of the term condo, these aren’t going to be residences. A car condo is essentially a climate-controlled, indoor garage for multiple cars. Owners will be able to customize their condos as they see fit or, if they need more space, buy multiple condos and have them combined into one.

“Guys like to have their own space,” said Gary Brown, one of the people behind the unique development. “They have their fancy cars. They’re working on them. They have a new home, but it’s got a two-car garage. That’s not going to work.”

Each condo will start at 1,680 square feet, which is expected to be enough for six-cars.

The starting cost for a condo is $550,000. Brown said anyone who signs up before Monday at noon will get a $10,000 discount; community leaders will be at Hilton Head Island’s Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival over the weekend .

In terms of customization, the only limit will be the owner’s imagination.

“These units have mezzanines, and the mezzanines are designed in a way that you can do whatever you want to do,” Brown said. “Whatever makes you happy.”

That could mean office space or furniture.

There are a few places like this across the United States, Brown said. However, the social aspect of the Bluffton location makes it stand out.

CarVillage is being designed to be more than just a place to keep cars. Instead, it is meant to be a place for car collectors to gather and hang out.

A 20,000-square-foot clubhouse will include an F-1 racer simulator, a full bar, a pool hall, private offices, a cigar lounge, detailing services, a kitchen for catering, private wine bottle storage, and a lift for servicing and washing vehicles.

There are also plans for events like car shows that would be open to the public and “coffee and cars” meetups for car enthusiasts on the weekends.

“With all of these units and all of these owners, it’s natural for us to be sort of a clearinghouse for the members,” Brown said.

According to the CarVillage website, five condos already have been sold and six have been reserved.

Club membership at CarVillage will be limited to 250 members. Members will not have to be condo owners. The upper level of one of the buildings will include general storage members can rent to store their vehicles.

Brown’s team is expecting to break ground on the project in February and expects construction to take about a year.

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka on Hurricane Idalia: 'Control what you can and be proactive'

The National Weather Service forecasts that Idalia will be at hurricane strength as it reaches southeast Georgia late Wednesday afternoon, then becoming a tropical storm as it tracks along the South Carolina coast. NWS also stated a flood watch in southeast South Carolina will be in effect through Wednesday.South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Tuesday ahead of po...

The National Weather Service forecasts that Idalia will be at hurricane strength as it reaches southeast Georgia late Wednesday afternoon, then becoming a tropical storm as it tracks along the South Carolina coast. NWS also stated a flood watch in southeast South Carolina will be in effect through Wednesday.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Tuesday ahead of potential impacts caused by Idalia. McMaster warned residents should take precautions despite the state likely missing the "worst of Hurricane Idalia’s impacts."

Track the storm here:How will Hurricane Idalia impact SC?

Hurricane Idalia:Gov. McMaster declares State of Emergency for South Carolina

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka shares letter to residents

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka shared a letter to residents of her city.

Dear neighbors,

Thank you for preparing for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Idalia.

Historically, the busiest time for storm activity happens in this area from late August through mid-October. Unfortunately, this storm activity is following its normal pattern and timeline.

As Mayor, I hope to give you the information you need to feel informed and keep you safe. Storm preparation is a group activity, and we need you to be mindful and take some actions for the best possible outcome.

Let me assure you that Town leaders and staff are on regular calls throughout each day to keep our communities as safe as possible. As we say each year, “We may be able to put a person on the moon, however, we cannot predict a hurricane with precision.” Nature has the final word about hurricanes, their path, and timing. Information is constantly changing – the antidote to a lack of control is to control what you can and be proactive.

This storm is most likely to bring standing water, power failures and downed trees.

Hurricane Idalia: List of things to do before storm hits

Hurricane Idalia: Town of Bluffton offices closed

Hurricane Idalia: Utility Contacts

Please keep posted to the Town’s social media platforms and we will be communicating new information as we receive it. Stay safe, Bluffton!

Warmly,

Mayor Lisa Sulka

USA Today contributed to this story.

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