Which type of divorce is best? Should I get a no-fault divorce?

Need any help?

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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Hilton Head Island, SC
Family Law Attorney Hilton Head Island, 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 Hilton Head Island, SC

Legal Consultation

Law is complicate matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

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 Hilton Head Island, 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.

Contact Us

phone-number 843-936-6680

Latest News in Hilton Head Island, SC

Hilton Head’s only full-service FedEx center is closed. Now, the closest is an hour away

Hilton Head’s only FedEx Ship Center permanently closed in March after months of reduced hours and staff shortages, forcing residents to go to Savannah for the nearest full-service FedEx and complicating operations for small business owners.The store, which had been located on Hunter Road, closed on March 11, according to FedEx spokesperson Adam Snyder, who didn’t provide a specific reason for the closing. A sign on the building said it was closed as of March 8.Business owners who used the shipping center reported d...

Hilton Head’s only FedEx Ship Center permanently closed in March after months of reduced hours and staff shortages, forcing residents to go to Savannah for the nearest full-service FedEx and complicating operations for small business owners.

The store, which had been located on Hunter Road, closed on March 11, according to FedEx spokesperson Adam Snyder, who didn’t provide a specific reason for the closing. A sign on the building said it was closed as of March 8.

Business owners who used the shipping center reported dwindling hours and signs about staff shortages leading up to the store’s closing.

Hilton Head persistently struggles with affordable housing for the area’s workforce, and it’s not uncommon for Hilton Head business owners to have problems finding staff on the island, especially for service industry jobs.

The impact is often felt by tourists, with long wait times at restaurants or reduced retail shop hours, but the FedEx Ship Center closing hits business owners such as home inspector Ken Marchi particularly hard.

“All these people, small business people, who use FedEx would be waiting in the parking lot,” Marchi said of FedEx when the store reduced its hours before closing. He said the hours gradually dwindled over the past few years, and the store operated from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in its last months.

Marchi has lived on Hilton Head for 20 years and express ships around three environmental samples to a lab for testing each week. He said the work is time sensitive, and each test is worth about $2,500 in income to him.

“It’s just been extremely frustrating,” he said. “I am a small business. There’s other (small businesses). And I don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just pulling their hair out.”

Signage on the store’s door offered Island Pack and Ship Center, an authorized FedEx Ship Center, as an alternative. However, that center and other FedEx Drop Boxes don’t service:

The nearest FedEx Express facilities for Hilton Head Island residents are over an hour drive away in Savannah. FedEx will deliver printing supplies upon request to customers with accounts, like Marchi, who said he needs to stick with FedEx because of their tracking capabilities.

“If you don’t have the time and the intuitiveness to keep chasing them down, they are impossible,” he said.

Vacant Sam’s Club building, Hilton Head’s mid-island eyesore, bought by local businessman

The former Sam’s Club building on Hilton Head Island, which has been vacant since January 2017 when the big box retailer moved to Bluffton, has a new owner.Hilton Head businessman J.R. Richardson, owner of the Richardson Group, purchased the property for $5.8 million, according to paperwork filed in Beaufort County. The deal closed Feb. 28.Lee Lucier, chief operating officer for the Richardson Group, said on Thur...

The former Sam’s Club building on Hilton Head Island, which has been vacant since January 2017 when the big box retailer moved to Bluffton, has a new owner.

Hilton Head businessman J.R. Richardson, owner of the Richardson Group, purchased the property for $5.8 million, according to paperwork filed in Beaufort County. The deal closed Feb. 28.

Lee Lucier, chief operating officer for the Richardson Group, said on Thursday afternoon that Richardson aims to give the mid-island eyesore a new life, but it was too soon to speak of specifics.

“We were able to secure the property with the hopes of it being developed as a local asset to the community,” Lucier said. “We think we have a great plan going forward. We’re just working through the planning stages.”

The more than 70,000-square-foot building sits on 5.26 acres in Port Royal Plaza.

A small portion of the space will be a locally owned indoor pickleball club, Lucier said.

Richardson made the deal as part of a separate business, Barony Fund 1 Investment LLC. However, Richardson Group will manage the property at 95 Mathews Drive in Port Royal Plaza.

It currently is zoned for commercial development. Lucier said he didn’t anticipate the need to request rezoning.

“The property is in an Opportunity Zone, and we are glad to be able to use it as space for the island in a manner that will serve the community,” Richardson said in a statement.

Opportunity Zones are federally designated areas set up to encourage economic development and job creation by reducing taxes for investors. There are 135 Opportunity Zones in South Carolina but only one on Hilton Head.

In the seven years the former Sam’s Club building has been vacant, several businesses have announced plans that failed to materialize:

Richardson moved to Hilton Head with his father, mother and siblings in 1955. His father, James Norris Richardson, opened a supermarket and other stores in the area that would become the current Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head’s south end.

In addition to Coligny Plaza, the younger Richardson was also behind the development of Windmill Harbour and the South Carolina Yacht Club. Today, Richardson Group also includes Local Pie, Fish and Forrest Fire restaurants plus several workforce housing projects on Hilton Head Island.

Port Royal Plaza is also home to Planet Fitness and an assortment of shops and restaurants including Rollers Wine and Spirits, Fiesta Fresh, Okko, Street Meet, Paris Baguette and Jinya ramen bar, among others.

This story was originally published March 29, 2024, 11:39 AM.

Stuck in a drainpipe for months, 6-foot Hilton Head alligator freed to roam again

After months trapped underground in an extended hibernation, this Hilton Head alligator finally got to stretch its legs.The six-foot gator had been stuck in a small drainage pipe since October, when Port Royal Plantation residents first spotted its snout through the roadside grate on South Port Royal Drive. Matt Kraycar, owner of the Bluffton-based K&K Wildlife Services, rescued the critter from its stormwater solitude Thursday morning. Despite moderate in...

After months trapped underground in an extended hibernation, this Hilton Head alligator finally got to stretch its legs.

The six-foot gator had been stuck in a small drainage pipe since October, when Port Royal Plantation residents first spotted its snout through the roadside grate on South Port Royal Drive. Matt Kraycar, owner of the Bluffton-based K&K Wildlife Services, rescued the critter from its stormwater solitude Thursday morning. Despite moderate injuries, the gator was released into a Hilton Head lagoon and is expected to make a full recovery.

“I’ve had them in drainage pipes before, but I’ve never seen one in (a pipe) this small before,” Kraycar said. “It was only a 12-inch pipe, and its body was kind of smashed in there.” He guessed the gator got wedged inside the duct after venturing past a tight turn, leaving its long body unable to turn back around.

Neighbors on South Port Royal Drive checked the drain intermittently after their initial sighting in October and only sometimes saw the alligator, according to Kraycar. They called the wildlife removal company Wednesday evening when they realized the animal was trapped.

After removing the metal grate, Kraycar was able to pull the gator to freedom with a catchpole, a humane restraining tool that can be looped around an animal’s neck and tightened. The rescue was done by 11 a.m. Thursday and took about 10 minutes of tugging, he said: “I was shaking him back and forth trying to get him all wiggled out.”

The freed gator didn’t look malnourished, Kraycar said, but the tight squeeze appeared to have rubbed some of its skin down to the bone. He released the reptile at a shoreline about 50 yards away, recording its long-awaited return to the Hilton Head lagoon.

“He kind of hobbled off a little bit, but gators are so strong — I don’t think he’ll have any issues,” Kraycar told The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. He wasn’t sure if the animal was male or female but estimated it was at least six years old.

Kraycar said the trapped alligator could have fed on small fish in the drainage water during his six-month stint in the pipe. Even still, alligators have a markedly slow metabolism and can fast for months, sometimes years.

The species’ biological clock also came in handy. Every winter, alligators go through brumation, a five-month dormant state similar to hibernation that allows cold-blooded creatures to endure cold and freezing temperatures. The animals’ heart rate and metabolism dramatically decrease, helping them conserve energy and survive with little to no food.

“It might not have been a bad time for it to happen,” Kraycar said, noting that the gator became trapped in the drain about a month before brumation’s typical onset in November. “It was probably going in and out of (dormant periods), which helped it stay healthier rather than just being down there in the summer starving to death.”

This predicament isn’t an uncommon one for the Lowcountry’s apex predators. Kraycar estimates his company removes about one alligator a year from local drainage systems, which can be connected to water reservoirs that the animals call home.

Gators might follow fish into the pipes, Kraycar said, or others could be seeking refuge from cold weather in the fall and winter. K&K Wildlife saw a spike in alligator entrapments after Hurricane Matthew, when flooding and irregular water flow forced many of the animals into storm drainage systems. While some were rescued, other large gators were found dead inside the water lines.

The incidents represent one type of clash between human development and alligator populations in the Lowcountry, where residents have long debated how to coexist with the animals. Over 100,000 members of the once-endangered species live in South Carolina, with the vast majority located in coastal areas.

This story was originally published April 13, 2024, 9:14 AM.

Jellyfish will soon swarm Hilton Head beaches. Here’s why and what to do if you get stung

Have you had the chance to head out to any part of Hilton Head Island’s 12 miles of white sand beaches lately?If so, you may notice some beached jellyfish that have washed ashore.With the weather warming up, the number of jellyfish stranded or floating among the surf will be on the rise once again.The phenomenon is natural, tends to happen yearly and can even be expected by locals most of the time, but it’s understandable that the scattering of dead jellies on the shore and many more floating in the shallow s...

Have you had the chance to head out to any part of Hilton Head Island’s 12 miles of white sand beaches lately?

If so, you may notice some beached jellyfish that have washed ashore.

With the weather warming up, the number of jellyfish stranded or floating among the surf will be on the rise once again.

The phenomenon is natural, tends to happen yearly and can even be expected by locals most of the time, but it’s understandable that the scattering of dead jellies on the shore and many more floating in the shallow surf can be alarming or even off-putting to many beachgoers.

Have you ever been curious about the dome-shaped, tentacled creatures floating through the water?

Although the term jellyfish may come to mind, that’s not the proper name to call them.

“Jellyfish are not really fish, of course, because a fish’s anatomy is centered around its backbone, whereas the jellyfish is a dome-shaped invertebrate. Therefore, it’s more accurate to refer to them simply as ‘jellies,’” states the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In fact, these roving creatures are actually most closely related to corals, sea anemones, sea whips and hydrozoans.

Frequently, the most commonly found jelly seen around Hilton Head’s shores and around South Carolina is the cannonball jelly. Luckily for many avid beachgoers, this round, smaller-sized jelly generally does not sting and poses no large threat to curious or nearby families.

However, this isn’t the only species you might find in the area.

“We have several species that occur in our waters beside the cannonball/cabbagehead, however, you locally want to call it,” Dr. Joe Staton of the Department of Natural Sciences Chair at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, has said to The Island Packet.

“There’s also sea nettles which are kind of moon jellies that occur worldwide. We get those here. We get Portuguese man o’ war which are not actually in the same group as the jellies with the bells.”

Cannonball jellies are abundant along the coast of South Carolina. If you find one dead on the beach, it’s common to find them without most of their color, as this tends to occur soon after they wash ashore. Some people even accidentally step on them while on the beach without realizing and end up getting a slippery surprise.

Once stranded on the beach, cannonball jellies can’t survive long out of the water and eventually become a food source for shorebirds, crabs, sea turtles and other critters that live along the coast. These jellies are also a favored snack for the endangered leatherback sea turtle and provide nourishment for the visiting mothers and soon-to-be hatching eggs in the future.

Another sea turtle species that visits the area and feeds on these jellies is the loggerhead sea turtle. They are the most common kind of sea turtle to use the shores of Hilton Head Island as their nesting ground, according to hiltonheadisland.org.

Aside from cannonball jellies, sea nettles can be found off the island’s coast and in the surf. These jellies are responsible for the most stings on Hilton Head Island, with the most recorded stings in one day being in the hundreds.

Another one that can be found in the area is the Portuguese man o’ war. Even though it may resemble a jelly, the Portuguese man o’ war is what is known as a siphonophore and appears bluish-purple in color.

If you come across one on the beach or in the surf, it appears similar to an inflated plastic bag.

“The important thing about the Portuguese man o’ war, if they’re washed up on the beach, they’re like dead bees. They can still sting you, so don’t mess with them,” Staton had said.

The best advice when around these multitudes of dead jellies is to not directly touch a dead jellyfish if you don’t know what kind it is.

In most cases, jellies travel in groups called “blooms.”

These assemblies tend to form in a short amount of time after the population expands following a rise in water temperatures, as they prefer and thrive in warmer waters. Thus, these clusters tend to form and follow the spring and summer months.

Rough winds, storms, swells, tides and currents can send the jellies to shore, which in certain events can happen all at once. A cooling of the water temperatures can also contribute to mass deaths of the jellies that will eventually get washed ashore or consumed.

Not sure if you’ve come across a floating jelly or stepped on one on the beach and have been stung? Always consult with a lifeguard if one is nearby or evaluate the potential sting area yourself if you know what to look for.

According to Mayo Clinic, common signs that you’ve been stung by a jellyfish include:

“Diagnosing jellyfish stings generally doesn’t require a visit to a health care provider. If you do go, your provider will likely be able to diagnose your injury by looking at it,” reported Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic states that most jellyfish stings, unless severe symptoms are also present, can be treated by:

Mayo Clinic also listed these actions to avoid as they are unhelpful or remain unproved to provide aid.

HHI firemen, town staff run Heritage’s most popular food joint. How much is fundraised?

At the RBC Heritage, Hilton Head firefighters are dealing with a different kind of heat: the Nashville-style spicy fried chicken sandwich.It’s the specialty item at the town’s concession stand, one of the most popular and profitable food joints at the annual RBC Heritage golf tournament. Since 2004, the stand has run on a volunteer base of town hall staff, firefighters and paramedics — with a healthy sprinkling of hospitality students from the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB).All proceeds from food...

At the RBC Heritage, Hilton Head firefighters are dealing with a different kind of heat: the Nashville-style spicy fried chicken sandwich.

It’s the specialty item at the town’s concession stand, one of the most popular and profitable food joints at the annual RBC Heritage golf tournament. Since 2004, the stand has run on a volunteer base of town hall staff, firefighters and paramedics — with a healthy sprinkling of hospitality students from the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB).

All proceeds from food sales will go to the Hilton Head Firefighters’ Association nonprofit, which will disperse funds to other 501(c)(3) organizations in the area. Thanks to its prime location near both the start and middle of the Harbour Town Golf Links course, the stand raises anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 every year, said Kyle Ramsey, a senior firefighter and board member at the nonprofit.

“We’re all in this for fun, to raise money for organizations, but we do get the most traffic,” said Ramsey.

With a historic lineup of some of the world’s greatest golfers, the 2024 Heritage is poised to be one of the largest in the tournament’s 55-year history. The event is expected to bring up to 120,000 spectators to Harbour Town, so charitable concessionaires are hoping for a strong week of fundraising.

Since 2020, all the tournament’s food has been provided by the SERG Restaurant Group of Hilton Head, which offers some menu staples from the group’s 15 local restaurants.

This year’s tournament marked deputy town manager Josh Gruber’s sixth straight year under the tent. His favorite parts of the volunteer work, he said, were “connecting with folks” and marveling at how far some attendees will travel for the PGA Tour event. He’s met fans hailing from Connecticut to Canada — as well as a family who left their home in Edisto Beach at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning to arrive in time for the pro-am rounds.

“I just like people,” said Robin Swift, the town’s cultural affairs coordinator. “It’s fun to talk to them, hear why they’re here. They’ll come up with autographed hats. One lady said she’s been following (a golfer) for 16 years.”

A share of the concession stand’s profits will be used to pay SERG for providing the food, while some goes into a benevolent fund for Hilton Head firefighters in times of need. Everything else is awarded to local organizations through grants: installing AED kits in public buildings and churches, for instance, or supporting the Second Helpings food rescue charity, which “rescues” food that would have been thrown away at grocery stores and delivers it to food pantries across the Lowcountry.

A half-dozen younger volunteers under the tent were especially in their element: They’re representing USCB’s hospitality management program, housed in the newly built campus on the island.

Rebecca Pollard, a senior, said volunteering at the Heritage was a “passion project” for the students. Some of them are studying to organize and cater corporate events, not dissimilar to the tournament’s vast network of food service.

As crowds of tartan grew larger Wednesday morning, the volunteers slipped back into the event’s familiar electricity.

“The folks that are out here are out here enjoying themselves,” Gruber said. “Everybody’s in a good mood. That makes it fun.”

Pro-am tee-offs began Wednesday morning after Tuesday’s opening ceremony. The tournament kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

This story was originally published April 17, 2024, 3:49 PM.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.