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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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle Of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Isle Of Palms, SC
Family Law Attorney Isle Of Palms, 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 Isle Of Palms, SC

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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 Isle of Palms, 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 Isle of Palms, SC

Court battle over homeowner’s seawall on the Isle of Palms escalates

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) — A court hearing has been rescheduled in the ongoing conflict between state health officials and an Isle of Palms homeowner.In February, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) and petition for injunctive relief in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court against Rom Reddy, the proper...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) — A court hearing has been rescheduled in the ongoing conflict between state health officials and an Isle of Palms homeowner.

In February, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) and petition for injunctive relief in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court against Rom Reddy, the property owner on the Isle of Palms who built a wall to protect his property from beach erosion.

DHEC claims the structure is in a critical area and issued Reddy cease-and-desist directives related to the structure. In its Administrative Law Court filing, attorneys for the state agency say Reddy disregarded the directives, and DHEC “has no adequate remedy at law other than to seek judicial intervention to compel the Respondents to immediately cease their unauthorized actions in the critical area.”

In response, Reddy’s attorneys requested the judge deny the motion for a TRO and petition for injunctive relief. They claim Reddy’s structure is not in a critical area and is outside the state’s jurisdiction. Additionally, they say the wall was necessary because of a failure from DHEC and the city of Isle of Palms to protect the beach/dune system and renourish the beaches.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Thursday, April 18; however, on April 11, DHEC filed a motion for continuance to push back the hearing “due to its extremely heavy workload and to allow the parties adequate time to prepare for the trial and conduct full discovery.”

Chief Administrative Law Judge, Ralph Anderson, granted that motion on Tuesday, April 16.

In their response to DHEC’s initial court filing, Reddy’s team also requested that the case be removed and handled in circuit court by jury trial, rather than Administrative Law Court. On March 26, Judge Anderson denied that motion. Reddy’s attorneys then filed a separate lawsuit against DHEC and the city of Isle of Palms in Charleston County Circuit Court on March 29.

Additionally, Judge Anderson granted a motion from the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League to intervene in the case, which will allow the group to provide its own arguments against Reddy. Judge Anderson, however, noted their intervention is “limited to the presentation of arguments that are different and unique compared to the Department’s [DHEC] arguments in this case.

The new Administrative Law Court hearing has been rescheduled to Monday, Aug. 12.

Isle of Palms seawall legal battle escalates: Coastal Conservation League joins lawsuit

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — The legal battle over a sea wall on the Isle of Palms continues.A judge has granted the Coastal Conservation League’s motion to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit between the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and a homeowner. The hearing was originally scheduled for April 18 but has been pushed back until August.Both agencies want the structure permanently removed, but the Coastal Conservation League explains the two agencies have separate arguments.“I thin...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) — The legal battle over a sea wall on the Isle of Palms continues.

A judge has granted the Coastal Conservation League’s motion to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit between the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and a homeowner. The hearing was originally scheduled for April 18 but has been pushed back until August.

Both agencies want the structure permanently removed, but the Coastal Conservation League explains the two agencies have separate arguments.

“I think it's DHEC’s job to argue with the laws are in South Carolina; those are the laws they're charged with implementing and enforcing in circumstances like these. Whereas I think it's the league's job in this scenario to argue about the potential impacts or consequences of something like a structure that is in conflict with those laws,” said Emily Cedzo, the league’s director of conservation programs and policy.

READ MORE: "Unauthorized seawall on Isle of Palms sparks DHEC intervention."

Cedzo said these consequences impact all users of our beaches.

The Coastal Conservation League argues that while a structure like a sea wall is made to protect what’s behind it from erosion, it worsens erosion on the ocean side. They fear over time it will eat away at the beach altogether.

“It's making public access incredibly difficult, particularly at high tide. Which also not only makes it difficult for you and I to walk the beach but certainly for wildlife to forage, for sea turtles to nest when they're in season,” Cedzo said.

She said the league worked with the state’s real estate commission last year to better educate beachfront homeowners about the possible risks where they live.

READ MORE: "Coastal Conservation League joins battle over Isle of Palms seawall conflict."

“I think that's imperative that when people first walk into these transactions and buy properties on the beach, they understand the vulnerability of those properties. The fact that beaches can be erosional, you might have these sorts of issues pop up.”

A temporary emergency city ordinance allowing sea walls in a designated area of the Isle of Palms is set to expire on April 19.

In its meeting on April 23, the city council will vote to either extend it or let it expire.

Isle of Palms voters to decide on new short-term rental limits

ISLE OF PALMS — A bumper crop of yard signs has sprouted across this barrier island as voters prepare for a referendum Nov. 7 that could limit short-term rental licenses.It's the latest skirmish in a much broader fight over the future of these sorts of vacation usages that's been playing out across South Carolina.“If nothing else, we are keeping the sign business afloat," said Mayor Phillip Pounds.Isle of Palms is among the communities on the frontlines — all places where high demand from vacatione...

ISLE OF PALMS — A bumper crop of yard signs has sprouted across this barrier island as voters prepare for a referendum Nov. 7 that could limit short-term rental licenses.

It's the latest skirmish in a much broader fight over the future of these sorts of vacation usages that's been playing out across South Carolina.

“If nothing else, we are keeping the sign business afloat," said Mayor Phillip Pounds.

Isle of Palms is among the communities on the frontlines — all places where high demand from vacationers fuels the short-term rental business. Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Beaufort limit such rentals; Sullivan's Island prohibits them; Myrtle Beach doesn't allow new ones in residential neighborhoods.

The Isle of Palms referendum calls for imposing a 1,600 cap on short-term rental licenses for investors and second-home owners. There would continue to be no cap for homes that are the owners' primary residence.

It's about preserving the island's quality of life, say supporters. More than 30 percent of the city's registered voters signed a petition to get the referendum on the ballot.

“We have a growing number of short-term rental licenses in residential communities," said Randy Bell, a former councilman working with pro-referendum group Preserve Isle of Palms Now. "We are trying to maintain the one-third, one-third, one-third split between full-time residents, second homes and rental properties."

Opponents say it's really about property rights and property values. An investment property or second home could be harder to sell, and worth less, if there's no certainty it could be used for short-term rentals.

“What are we trying to solve?" said Hugh Swingle, an island resident whose family business is Palm Blvd Vacation Rentals. "We just don’t see that there’s an actual problem.”

The city had issued 1,625 licenses to property owners who are not full-time residents as of early October, and if the referendum were to pass, no new ones would be available until the number drops below 1,600.

"Obviously, we don't think it's good," said Ryan Buckhannon, president of the Isle of Palms Chamber of Commerce. He's a former councilman who owns an investment property licensed for short-term rentals.

Supporters and detractors of the referendum have set up websites, put out yard signs and sent mailings.

Isle of Palms United opposes the cap and claims on its website, iopunited.com, that taxes "have to" go up and property values will go down if the referendum were to pass. That group and others claim property values plunged 25 to 30 percent on Folly Beach after a February voter referendum capped short-term licenses there at 800.

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors data gives reason to question such claims. According to CTAR data, the median price of a house sold on Folly Beach in 2023 through September was down 14.9 percent, but the median price of a condo or townhouse sold there was up 28.2 percent.

“There’s no basis for the claim that property values will plummet by 40 percent," said Bell.

Swingle, who is affiliated with Isle of Palms United, said a cap could be a big problem for people who want to sell a property in the years ahead.

“If there were a cap in place, and you own one of those tiny condos and you went to sell it, you could have a really hard time without a (short-term rental) license," he said.

Swingle expects the vote to be close.

Preserve Isle of Palms Now supports the referendum, which the group says on preserveiop.org is about keeping the island a great place to live and preserving its residential nature by not allowing unlimited short-term rentals.

"IOP residents are either already experiencing or can foresee future problems with water and sewer capacity, traffic & parking congestion, environmental impacts, and the availability of long-term rental housing," the group's website says.

The Palm Republic, an organization created by former Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll and current Councilman Blair Hahn, has also created programming opposing the referendum. Hahn even alleged in a YouTube video that referendum supporters have talked about driving down property values in order to get deals on real estate.

News

The island has long been known as a place to rent a house or condo at the beach, or to have a second home that could be rented out for much of the year.

Full-time residents own about a third of the homes, and they can rent out those homes for up to 72 days each year if they have a short-term rental license. As of early October, 184 owner-occupied homes on Isle of Palms had short-term rental licenses.

“It’s a vacation spot, and has always been a rental community, to some extent," said Pounds, the mayor, who declined to say how he will vote. "We have 1,400 condos, give or take."

That's a lot on an island with about 4,400 residents. Most of those condos are in Wild Dunes or former hotels in the commercial area along the beachfront, and most are for rent. Many single-family homes across the island are also licensed for short-term renters.

While full-time residents are the minority of property owners on the island, they are the only people who can vote.

The referendum is on the ballot because of a petition signed by 1,173 of the city's 3,740 registered voters. That petition put a short-term rental ordinance before City Council, and after the council declined to pass that ordinance in July, it became a ballot referendum.

If the referendum were to pass, the ordinance would take effect.

The Isle of Palms yes/no referendum question is: "Shall the City of Isle of Palms limit the investment short term rental business licenses to a maximum of 1,600?"

Across the marsh in neighboring Mount Pleasant, which has more than 94,000 residents, just 400 short-term rental permits are allowed.

Supporters of short-term rentals hope state lawmakers will act to prohibit and invalidate any local restrictions in 2024. A measure aimed at limiting local governments' ability to restrain short-term rentals failed earlier this year.

Palmetto Politics

Folly Beach earlier this year imposed a short-term rental cap following a referendum. Folly Beach has fewer than half as many residences as Isle of Palms, and the town now has an 800-license limit on short-term rentals.

Isle of Palms would have 1,600, plus as many licenses as full-time residents want for their homes, if the referendum were to pass. Residents will also choose four City Council members in the election, from eight candidates.

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Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

New waterfront park coming to Isle of Palms this year

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council in 2020 voted to make additions to the marina area of the island and that project is officially slated to be completed this year.The project included the addition of a public dock, a boardwalk and a waterfront park and greenspace. The boardwalk and public dock have been completed, and, as of Jan. 11, the construction contract for the waterfront park and greenspace was officially confirmed.The waterfront park will cover the 300 by 25 foot wide area along the marina faci...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms City Council in 2020 voted to make additions to the marina area of the island and that project is officially slated to be completed this year.

The project included the addition of a public dock, a boardwalk and a waterfront park and greenspace. The boardwalk and public dock have been completed, and, as of Jan. 11, the construction contract for the waterfront park and greenspace was officially confirmed.

The waterfront park will cover the 300 by 25 foot wide area along the marina facing the Intracoastal Waterway. There will be a 6-foot wide concrete walkway. The park will include a large lawn area with lush planting.

They plan to include a series of benches along the waterfront walkway so residents can enjoy views of the water and boating activities. There are plans for a circular seat wall near the public dock that would create an entrance to the dock area.

They plan to include a kayak storage area and a kayak launch area. There will be golf cart parking available as well as bicycle parking areas.

All of these plans did require collaboration and participation from the marina manager and restaurant tenants. Scott Toole, the general manager of the Outpost, a nearby restaurant, says he is very excited for this addition to the area.

“I think that it’s an added benefit to the island, to the residents, everybody, to have a space and to use the dock. Kayak launching is a big thing that I think people will take advantage of.” he says. “It’s really going to help make this area kind of a place of interest for people, sort of a destination so to speak, for people to be able to get some food, get some drink, watch the water and use the dock that’s right there.”

Toole says they very recently renovated the Outpost and he’s excited to see this new project bring more people to the area. He says he feels like this area of Isle of Palms is often overlooked as it is a little ways away from the main beach.

“We’ve kind of joked that it’s a small corner of the island and so, anything that’s bringing people down this direction is good for everybody. We’re excited to see this project take place,” he says.

The project is currently slated to be completed by May of this year. To provide City Council your input on this project you can click here.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Isle of Palms noise ordinance up for discussion after questions from businesses

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes could be coming to the noise ordinance on Isle of Palms as city leaders hope to make the rules more clear.The city’s noise ordinance currently doesn’t list specific limits. A proposal would establish set decibel levels based on the time and day of the week as well as the area:Isle of Palms business owners got the chance to see the numbers and ask questions on Friday.“We want them to understand that they have a voice, we want to hear from them,” Police Chief...

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Big changes could be coming to the noise ordinance on Isle of Palms as city leaders hope to make the rules more clear.

The city’s noise ordinance currently doesn’t list specific limits. A proposal would establish set decibel levels based on the time and day of the week as well as the area:

Isle of Palms business owners got the chance to see the numbers and ask questions on Friday.

“We want them to understand that they have a voice, we want to hear from them,” Police Chief Kevin Cornett said. “Anything that is going to impact businesses we want them to be able to come to us and say what they think about it.”

One area resident, who only identified himself as Paul, says the noise ordinance needs to have a balance.

“Obviously, late at night you don’t want people making a lot of noise walking up and down the streets while residents are trying to go to bed, but at the same time this is a vacation spot, so you have to have a little bit on leeway for people to enjoy themselves but also be respectful,” he said.

Cornett says they’re working to find a solution that will work for businesses and residents and increase livability for everyone.

Cornette says noise is a hot topic on the island and he values feedback on this from both residents and business owners.

“Everybody is very much invested in this conversation,” Cornett said. “The city council is taking it very seriously and they are going around and talking to people to get their input. So, I think they are doing a great job on making sure voices are heard so that when we get the final project it’s fair and something that will work for everybody.”

Officers use a calibrated decibel reader when called out to a noise complaint.

“That’s how we determine if it’s a violation and then we would take other factors into account like background noise to keep the realistic approach to is as well,” Cornett said.

The public safety committee has to create a final draft before it will head to the city council for two separate readings.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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