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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 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.

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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

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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 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.

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Latest News in Hilton Head Island, SC

Post Office pitfalls continue on Hilton Head Island. ‘I’m tired of being stolen from’

Worries of missing and stolen mail from the U.S. Postal Service in Hilton Head have reached into the new year, but officials remain silent on the cause and potential solutions.“Never in my life have I seen such horrific and irresponsible service from a Post Office,” said Windmill Harbor resident Lisa Fields, who says Hilton Head’s mail service has misplaced $150 in gift cards on top of a score of checks and packages. “I’m tired of being stolen from.”Emails obtained last summer from an adminis...

Worries of missing and stolen mail from the U.S. Postal Service in Hilton Head have reached into the new year, but officials remain silent on the cause and potential solutions.

“Never in my life have I seen such horrific and irresponsible service from a Post Office,” said Windmill Harbor resident Lisa Fields, who says Hilton Head’s mail service has misplaced $150 in gift cards on top of a score of checks and packages. “I’m tired of being stolen from.”

Emails obtained last summer from an administrator at the Office of Inspector General confirmed a female employee at the island’s north-end Post Office had been allegedly nabbing gift cards and discarding stolen checks from residents’ mail. She was reportedly “removed” from the location to minimize losses, although the USPS has not officially verified the events or released the name of the employee.

The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette received over two dozen reports of missing mail dating back to June 2022, totaling $2,315 in value. New stories suggest the issue hasn’t been resolved.

When mail does get delivered, Fields said, it often goes to the wrong people — certain good Samaritans “from all around the island” have brought her some pieces of misplaced mail.

The problem extends beyond the missing items, Fields emphasized. She’s been charged late fees for mailed payments that never arrive, and has repeatedly re-delivered packages that were mistakenly left on her doorstep. “It’s constant stress. Constant,” she said.

Fields’ experience is corroborated by a number of users on the neighborhood social media site NextDoor, where initial rumors of mail theft began to swirl last summer. Most complaints cite missing contents from packages that had obviously been opened or tampered with.

Representatives from the Office of Inspector General in Columbia have maintained throughout that the Postal Service “does not confirm or refute” information on ongoing theft investigations, but residents can report missing mail by filing an online complaint at https://www.uspsoig.gov/hotline.

It’s been a tough year for mail in and around Beaufort County. Just before the holidays, residents and business owners in Ridgeland complained of massively delayed deliveries, which the Postal Service attributed to a staffing shortage.

The reported problems are not contained to federal postal service — they are also extending to the private United Parcel Service (UPS). In October 2023, Sun City resident Marcus Stineman was arrested for reportedly tampering with and stealing from packages while on the job at a UPS processing facility on Hilton Head. In a disposition on Thursday, Stineman was fined $50 after entering a plea of nolo contendere — meaning he didn’t contest the charges but refused to admit guilt.

Mailing funds through a money order or check is preferable, according to the USPS, although those mailing cash can insure it up to $50,000.

This story was originally published February 2, 2024, 12:22 PM.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Hilton Head in 2024, Tripadvisor says

Whether you’re a longtime local or visiting tourist, Hilton Head Island is filled with new things to explore.To make sure you’ve at least experienced the best things to do on the island, Tripadvisor recently released its list of the 2024 top attractions to do in Hilton Head.Here are the top attractions on the list.Are you over the age of 21? Head on over to ...

Whether you’re a longtime local or visiting tourist, Hilton Head Island is filled with new things to explore.

To make sure you’ve at least experienced the best things to do on the island, Tripadvisor recently released its list of the 2024 top attractions to do in Hilton Head.

Here are the top attractions on the list.

Are you over the age of 21? Head on over to Hilton Head Distillery, which was ranked as the best on the list for attractions on Hilton Head Island, and is the island’s only distillery and craft spirits locale. The distillery offers a unique experience for guests with a wide variety of activities such as the opportunity to engage in a hands-on mixology experience, daily behind-the-scenes tours, tastings, signature cocktail classes and a bottle shop.

Such options are a much-talked-about affair among adults and are ranked as a ‘must-do’ for many adult parties or gatherings. The distillery can be found at 14 Cardinal Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.

Landing in second was the famed Coligny Beach. Accompanied by Coligny Plaza, this area on the island’s south end is a great place to spend the day with free parking, a shopping center, restaurants and miles of white sand beaches. Coligny Beach Park on its own has a splash pad, restrooms, outdoor showers, seating, free parking and more.

The beach’s public access point is located at 1 Coligny Circle.

Hilton Head Island’s bike trails may be one of the most widely-mentioned attractions the island has.

The Town of Hilton Head Island’s website shows several different interactive or printable map options for the many bike trails that the island has to offer.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge can be found between Hilton Head Island and Bluffton off the U.S. 278 bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The area is an island dedicated to hosting an abundance of local wildlife and acts as a space for individuals to explore and observe the local flora and fauna.

The preserve attracts thousands of migratory birds annually and provides a rookery, a nesting habitat for colonial wading birds such as ibis, egrets and herons. Other local species such as alligators, armadillos, various snakes, turtles, butterflies, bats and salamanders make their home at the wildlife preserve as well. Visitors may enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, walking and wildlife viewing during the park’s sunrise to sunset visiting hours.

Rounding out the top five best attractions on Hilton Head Island is the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The 605-acre area of protected land on the south end of the island in the Sea Pines resort community is dedicated to wildlife habitat and outdoor exploration.

Following the construction of the preserve’s first trails in the early 1970s, Sea Pines Forest Preserve has grown to include bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges and fishing docks. Aside from exploring the preserve through the many leisurely walking trails, horseback rides, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions or wagon tours are available for guests’ enjoyment. Visiting hours for the forest preserve are sunrise to sunset, which allows for an optimal day of exploration.

The 10 remaining best attractions on Hilton Head Island in 2024, according to an updated list by Tripadvisor, include:

‘Nothing too crazy:’ Hilton Head Island residents grateful for low impacts from Idalia

HITLON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Idalia is now hours clear of our area, but WTOC has been on Hilton Head since noon Wednesday tracking the conditions.“This one appears to be the storm that just wasn’t,” said Hilton Head resident Robert Harris.Idalia huffed and puffed testing every ounce of strength in all kinds of objects.But with all said and done, residents here are thankful it wasn’t worse.“A lot of wind a lot of rain. Nothing too crazy like what we really expected,” said Hil...

HITLON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Idalia is now hours clear of our area, but WTOC has been on Hilton Head since noon Wednesday tracking the conditions.

“This one appears to be the storm that just wasn’t,” said Hilton Head resident Robert Harris.

Idalia huffed and puffed testing every ounce of strength in all kinds of objects.

But with all said and done, residents here are thankful it wasn’t worse.

“A lot of wind a lot of rain. Nothing too crazy like what we really expected,” said Hilton Head resident Alex Harris.

We saw conditions worsen as the storm approached, but the town’s mayor says the only thing damaged is property.

“We’re at 28-30 trees that have fallen whether over roadways, cars or houses,” said Mayor Alan Perry.

With zero injuries reported on Hilton Head Island at this time, efforts to take care of those few dozen trees are already taking priority.

”We’ve got crews out there already that are working on some of the trees. The fire department responded to that and got them cut off and moved away and then tomorrow they’ll go through and get them picked up but come the weekend it’ll be back to business back to normal.”

He expects Labor Day tourism business to go off like Idalia never even happened... another storm to be looked back on as nothing more than a stress test.

“It’s also a good time to run your programs to make certain you’re prepared for the big one.”

Some of the other concerns emergency management had coming into this storm were flooding and storm surge. As far as flooding goes, the mayor says they’ll assess Thursday morning with daylight.

Although he says around the island, there was more rain Tuesday and Wednesday morning than Wednesday afternoon. As far as storm surge goes, he says the tide never got as high as they were worried it could, and the storm moving through when it did helped mitigate any impacts they might’ve seen from that.

Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.

13 Best Places To Eat In Hilton Head

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homem...

Eat your way across this South Carolina coastal town.

Most people come to Hilton Head for pristine beaches, championship golf courses, and family time, but this beach town also has a thriving culinary scene. Naturally there’s fresh seafood aplenty, but you’ll also find Southern-inspired bites, farm-to-table dining, and homemade Italian cuisine. Best of all, many places offer oceanfront dining, so you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the Atlantic while you eat (and maybe even enjoy a frozen cocktail or two).

01 of 13

Hilton Head Social Bakery

Get your French pastry fix at Hilton Head Social, which is owned and operated by award-winning French chef Philippe Feret. There are two locations (the original is at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, and the newest one is near the Sea Pines Circle), both of which serve Insta-ready pastries, decadent desserts, and buttery croissants galore. You’ll feel as if you’ve been magically transported to the streets of Paris.

02 of 13

Lulu Kitchen

The menu at Lulu is wide-ranging and delicious, offering American favorites with a Southern twist. Think butter-poached lobster, short rib grilled cheese, and house fried chicken. Come for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch and bask in the cheery, laid-back setting.

03 of 13

The Sea Shack

This no-frills, counter-serve restaurant is a gem. Check out the daily “Blackboard” special, or take your pick from grilled, fried, or blackened seafood that’s fresh from the sea. Expect to wait in line during peak summer months—The Sea Shack is popular with locals and tourists alike.

04 of 13

Chez Georges

Enjoy tasty French bistro staples like escargots de bourgogne (served with garlic herb butter sauce and crispy leeks), perfectly cooked cassoulet, and two kinds of moules-frites at Chez Georges. The wine list is impeccable, as well. Catch the aperitif hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday, when adult beverages are two dollars off and there’s a small plates menu offered. The restaurant also uses this time to host ticketed wine tastings complete with paired cheese plates.

05 of 13

Nectar Farm Kitchen

For a fresh-off-the-farm feast, head to Nectar Farm Kitchen, where every dish is lovingly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The breakfast and lunch menu features Southern classics like sausage biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, and creative Benedicts. Hearty “supper plates and bowls” include Lowcountry cioppino, root beer-braised short ribs, and filet mignon, alongside lighter fare like salads and soups.

06 of 13

Coast

With incredible waterfront views and a spacious, twinkly-lit outdoor patio, Coast is a picture-perfect date night spot. Located at the Sea Pines Resort, this restaurant serves all manner of seafood, sandwiches, tacos, and more; there’s also a great raw bar. Wash it all down with a frozen specialty cocktail. During the summertime, there’s often live entertainment.

07 of 13

Skull Creek Boathouse

You’ll likely want to linger for some time after you finish eating at Skull Creek Boathouse. The restaurant is known for its scenic location (on the banks of Skull Creek) and fun, relaxed ambiance. Apart from multiple dining areas, there’s an indoor sushi bar with raw oysters, ceviche, and sashimi, and an outdoor bar with Adirondack chairs and killer sunset views. Don’t leave without trying the famed salt and vinegar crab cakes.

08 of 13

The Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar

Billed as an “American bistro with Southern soul,” Lucky Rooster has an exceptional menu that changes often based on seasonality and what chefs can find fresh. Expect refined comfort food like deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon, bacon, tomato, and parsley or scallops and shrimp finished in a cognac cream sauce and served with Charleston red risotto.

09 of 13

Black Marlin Bayside Grill

Whatever you do, you must try a cup of the Bayside Chowder at Black Marlin; it’s what they’re known for. The fish tacos are a great choice, too, although you may have a hard time picking just a couple items off their broad menu that also includes seafood entrees, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and various pastas. There’s ample indoor and outdoor seating.

10 of 13

Burnt Church Distillery

Pair a charcuterie board or brick-oven pizza with creative cocktails made from authentic Lowcountry spirits. In addition to great food and drinks, Burnt Church also offers a 7,000 square-foot tasting room, gift shop, humidor, history room, and on-site manufacturing facility—it’s a whole experience unto itself.

11 of 13

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar

Get your fill of homemade Italian fare at Nunzio. Traditional dishes run the gamut from Pugliese-style meatballs to homemade ravioli to tagliatelle alla bolognese. Round out your meal with a mouthwatering dessert like lemon sorbet or hot chocolate souffle cake served with vanilla gelato.

12 of 13

Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks

Boasting beautiful views of Port Royal Sound, this iconic seafood joint has been around for more than 50 years. Seafood doesn’t come fresher than this—Hudson’s sources its fish and shrimp directly from one of only two remaining local fishing fleets on Hilton Head. Always order the specials, which can change multiple times a day depending on what’s being unloaded from the boats.

13 of 13

Johnson Creek Tavern

Satisfy your craving for pub grub at this low-key hangout on Harbor Island. Lunch and dinner options at Johnson Creek Tavern are simple but so satisfying. Start with hot crab and shrimp dip, then choose between a shrimp burger, crab cake sandwich, or fried flounder sandwich. You won't go wrong with any. Kick back with a cold beer or glass of wine and stay awhile.

Drenching rains and lashing winds on tap for East Coast. Will Hilton Head be hit?

The Lowcountry is not out of the clear as a strong low-pressure system will push its way from the Gulf Coast, sending drenching rains and lashing winds along the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.Beginning Saturday afternoon, rain and coastal wind will whip up in the Lowcountry, and the effects will linger into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.NWS meteorologist Michael Stroz said impacts to the Lowcountry will depend on the storm’s track and timing. As models become clearer, ...

The Lowcountry is not out of the clear as a strong low-pressure system will push its way from the Gulf Coast, sending drenching rains and lashing winds along the Eastern Seaboard this weekend.

Beginning Saturday afternoon, rain and coastal wind will whip up in the Lowcountry, and the effects will linger into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.

NWS meteorologist Michael Stroz said impacts to the Lowcountry will depend on the storm’s track and timing. As models become clearer, the storm looks like it will track to the northeast, paralleling the coastline. Stroz said the Lowcountry will see the majority of effects starting late Saturday and lasting through Sunday evening.

“Sunday will be a rather ugly weather day for us,” said Frank Strait, the state’s severe weather liaison. “Travel conditions will be awful due to wet roads and strong winds; I recommend staying home if you can.”

Beaufort County could get pelted with rain that totals between 3 and 4 inches. Local amounts could be higher, the service added. Low-lying areas and those with poor drainage will be particularly vulnerable, and roads and bridges may be slippery. Because of the rate of rain over time, Stroz said there is little likelihood that flash flooding will occur.

On Friday, the uncertainty of the storm’s track meant impacts from coastal flooding weren’t immediately clear, Strait said.

The storm will pass close to the coast, he said, but it could track just inland or offshore. The further offshore the storm center passes, onshore wind will be less significant. That would lead to a decreased coastal flooding risk during Sunday morning’s high tide. But, if it tracks over land, the longer period of onshore winds whipping through would increase flooding risk.

Rain accumulation doesn’t account for its interaction with high tides. In Beaufort, Saturday and Sunday’s high tides range between 7.3 feet and 8.6 feet, USHarbors predicted. On Hilton Head Island, the weekend high tides span from 6.5 feet to 7.5 feet.

Local meteorologists forecast that wind gusts along the South Carolina coast could blow up to 40 mph throughout the weekend. Strait said wind is the primary threat, with the possibility of causing damage to trees and power lines. Beaufort County is at a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms on Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NWS called marine and surf conditions “dangerous,” as wind gusts and high seas are expected to stir up waters. Across the entire South Carolina coast, forecasters say breaking waves will reach up to 5 feet or greater, agitating the seas Saturday night through Sunday.

Seas as high as 10 feet to 18 feet are possible Saturday into Monday morning, the service said. Beginning Saturday and lasting through Sunday night, there is a potential for 35 to 45 kt wind gusts blasting over local waters.

What does that all mean? Avoid beaches. Ditch any boating plans. Prep for property flooding. Leave time for travel and room between cars. And check any arriving and departing flights.

As of Friday morning, there were no delayed arrival or departure flights at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport or the Hilton Head Island Airport. While Beaufort County won’t see major impacts until Sunday, do not to count out traveling further south, where the deluge, strong winds and the potential for severe thunderstorms are expected as early as Saturday morning.

The majority of South Carolina’s coast is under a small craft advisory and gale watch. Stroz said a high surf advisory for the entire coast may be issued.

Based on local weather predictions, Beaufort County should clear up Monday, but evening temperatures will cool.

This story was originally published December 15, 2023, 11:47 AM.

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