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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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Lockhart, SC
Family Law Attorney Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, 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 Lockhart, SC

Genesis Digital Assets Expands Bitcoin Mining Activity in ‘Pro-Innovation’ South Carolina

Genesis Digital Assets (GDA), is expanding its U.S. operations, having announced the opening of three new Bitcoin mining data centers in South Carolina.One of GDA's new data centers is located near Anderson, and another two are found between the towns of Union and Lockhart. The three sites all began operations this year and have...

Genesis Digital Assets (GDA), is expanding its U.S. operations, having announced the opening of three new Bitcoin mining data centers in South Carolina.

One of GDA's new data centers is located near Anderson, and another two are found between the towns of Union and Lockhart. The three sites all began operations this year and have a combined total capacity of 33 megawatts (MW).

Additionally, last year GDA broke ground on a 40-megawatt (mw) mining data center in Texas.

One of the world's largest Bitcoin miners, GDA operates mines across Europe, Asia, and North America, and reportedly accounts for about 2% of the Bitcoin network's total hash rate.

Asked about GDA's strategic interest in the state, CEO and Founder Andrey Kim told Decrypt, "Given its abundance of clean electricity from hydro and nuclear energy sources, we consider South Carolina one of the country's most exciting states." He added that it's among the most "pro-innovation states."

New Texas Senate Bill Seeks to Slash Bitcoin Mining Incentives

GDA employed 150 local workers to construct its three new data centers.

“We were impressed to see how these local communities welcomed us so warmly as an opportunity for their economy,” Ankit Joshi, GDA's Head of North America said.

As opposed to the state's neighbor to the north, where a county-wide Bitcoin moratorium was enacted this year, interest in the sector appears to be growing in South Carolina.

Last year a South Carolina delegation, including State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and members of the South Carolina Emerging Tech Association Inc., took an exploratory trip to El Salvador to learn about the country's adoption of Bitcoin.

One of GDA's newest mining sites, the Pacolet data center, is located very close to a Lockhart Power hydroelectric plant.

Kim told Decrypt that GDA strives "to place our data centers near sources of clean energy to ensure our operations run on the most environmentally friendly energy possible."

SC State Guard called in after tornado heavily damages North Central High School in Kershaw County

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A tornado touched down Saturday night in Kershaw County and damaged a high school, football stadium, and buses, but no one was injured.The tornado touched down Saturday night according to the National Weather Service and struck North Central High School's property.The weather team is still evaluating the track but have determined it was a high end EF-2 Tornado. Richard Okulski, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service Columbia office, said the preliminary estimate for wind speeds is a...

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A tornado touched down Saturday night in Kershaw County and damaged a high school, football stadium, and buses, but no one was injured.

The tornado touched down Saturday night according to the National Weather Service and struck North Central High School's property.

The weather team is still evaluating the track but have determined it was a high end EF-2 Tornado. Richard Okulski, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service Columbia office, said the preliminary estimate for wind speeds is around 130 miles per hour.

The tornado began near the intersection of Lockhart road and Keys Lane according to the National Weather Service.

The impact on the school is immediately evident and is extensive. The roof was blown off of part of the building and damage was done to multiple classrooms. The stands in the football stadium were torn up and a goal post was bent over. In the bus barn nearby, several school buses had heavy damage. Trees near the track were snapped. Concrete stadium bleachers were collapsed along with the press box.

The tornado continued along across the gym lifting all the HVAC units off the roof. The tornado lifted the roof off most of the main building and an older auditorium, then collapsed an exterior wall along a portion of the west side of the building.

It moved four school buses and resulted in broken windows and other damages to the 25-30 school buses parked there. Two large light stands near the baseball field were damaged.

The tornado's path was about a half a mile and about 150 yards wide.

Kershaw County Schools spokesperson Mary Anne Byrd said the State Department of Education is assisting with bus replacements and will be sending students from North Central to an older vocational school about ten minutes away that wasn't being used to send students in light of the damage to the school.

Drone Video shows damage at Kershaw County School

Students in the district were scheduled to be off on Monday and Tuesday due to teacher planning purposes.

Byrd said that the entrance to the school was damaged, along with significant damage to the football stadium, concrete bleachers, and the bus fleet located on the campus. From visual inspections, all of the buses on site except for three had some form of damage to them.

Storm damages Kershaw County school

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Kershaw County: North Central HS

"Fortunately, no one was here on campus so all the damage is physical," said Byrd, "It's buildings, it's buses, it can be replaced."

No word yet on a damage estimate.

Lara Broughton, an English teacher at the school, was shocked to see the damage Sunday afternoon, saying "the pictures on social media do not do it justice. And then, when you get here and you really see how bad it is, it is completely devastating."

School officials caution that NO GofundMe sites or any other fundraising has been set or or being done.

The South Carolina State Guard was called in to help secure the site and will be stationed at the school for the next 48 hours, according to LTC Scott Malyerck. Guard members are trained law enforcement officers, says Malyerck, and will be working with local law enforcement agencies and emergency services to make sure the area is safe.

Lockhart Power To Build Industrial Spec Building

Image: A rendering of Midway Green Industrial Park.On April 26, Lockhart Power Company and Union County broke ground on the Midway Green Industrial Spec Building – a new industrial building designed for a manufacturing company. The building will be located in Midway Green Industrial Park, a 142-acre, South Carolina Certified Park adjacent to SC Highway 49 in Union. Midway Green is owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises...

Image: A rendering of Midway Green Industrial Park.

On April 26, Lockhart Power Company and Union County broke ground on the Midway Green Industrial Spec Building – a new industrial building designed for a manufacturing company. The building will be located in Midway Green Industrial Park, a 142-acre, South Carolina Certified Park adjacent to SC Highway 49 in Union. Midway Green is owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, the parent company of Lockhart Power.

Lockhart Power Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Midway Green Development, LLC, and Union County’s Union County Facilities Corporation, a nonprofit organization, have joined forces to construct Midway Green Industrial Spec Building. The project will include a 100,000 square foot building plus a 100,000 square foot building pad for expansion on 24 acres of land. The building will be one of only a handful of its size and quality in the state. The utility infrastructure within Midway Green Industrial Park includes several million gallons per day of excess water and sewer capacity, more than 30 megawatts of electric power capacity provided by Lockhart Power, and natural gas.

This will be the fourth spec building built in Union County. Others are currently occupied by Haemonetics, Gestamp and Timken Industrial Bearings. The Midway Green building will be the only available building for manufacturing in Union County.

The two organizations have partnered on several large infrastructure projects which have positioned Union County as a viable and competitive option for industrial development.

“We are very excited about this project and the impact it will have on our community,” said Frank Hart, Union County supervisor. “We believe that this type of public-private partnership will be a model for economic development in rural S.C. counties going forward.”

“Lockhart Power, its parent company Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, and the extended Milliken family continuously strives to make a real difference in Union,” said Bryan Stone, chief operating officer at Lockhart Power. “Our significant investment in this speculative manufacturing building is one way in which we are doing so, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet the next world-class company who will call Union its home.”

Engineering for the spec building was completed by DePaul Engineering, Inc. Upstate firm McMillan Pazdan Smith has been selected as the project architect and THS Constructors, based in Greenville, will be the general contractor for the project.

Divided decision produces united Union County school

The anger in Jonesville and Lockhart over the loss of their high schools has faded with time, but the sense of loss still lingers.“Friday night football was the main event up there,” Lockhart business owner Bernice Canupp said.Games were major social gatherings, with residents in both towns coming out to cheer on the Wildcats and Red Devils. School events were supported by the whole community.But that ended 10 years ago, when the high schools in Jonesville and Lockhart were combined with Union ...

The anger in Jonesville and Lockhart over the loss of their high schools has faded with time, but the sense of loss still lingers.

“Friday night football was the main event up there,” Lockhart business owner Bernice Canupp said.

Games were major social gatherings, with residents in both towns coming out to cheer on the Wildcats and Red Devils. School events were supported by the whole community.

But that ended 10 years ago, when the high schools in Jonesville and Lockhart were combined with Union High School to form Union County High.

The decision to consolidate was a divisive one. Many residents of the two communities argued the move would hurt their towns and rob them of a piece of their identity.

The two high schools were estimated to need somewhere in the range of $13 million in repairs. Consolidating the three high schools would save about $1 million annually, the Union County School District estimated.

In the end, economics prevailed, and most residents came to accept the change. But many still miss the institutions that helped bring everyone together.

'A tough decision'

The vote came in March 2007.

“It goes without saying that there was a feeling of loss in the Jonesville community as well as the Lockhart community. Those schools were an important part of the fabric of Union County,” said David Eubanks, who served as Union County's interim superintendent about a month after the vote. “It was a tough decision and it was an emotional decision.”

Consolidation came down to money, he said. Renovating the two high schools would have been costly, and enrollment was declining at all three of the county’s high schools.

“The school board did make that decision, in my opinion, just months before they probably would have had to make it because of the economic downturn,” Eubanks said.

After the 2006-07 school year, 364 Jonesville High students and 117 Lockhart High students became part of the consolidated Union County High School, according to S.C. Department of Education records.

Elementary and middle school students continue to use the Lockhart High building. Even before consolidation, all grade levels shared one facility, but because the lower grades don't require as much technology and lab space as the high school would have needed, the district has been able to focus funds on maintenance.

Jonesville High now houses the town's municipal complex, but still bears banners and logos with the school's old colors and Wildcat mascot.

Current Union County Superintendent Bill Roach said while the decision has come to be accepted by many, it remains an "open wound" for some residents.

“What happened then was, you’re shutting a page of history for a lot of those folks,” he said.

Small town voices

Bernice Canupp owns Lockhart Cafe?, one of only a handful of businesses operating in the town limits.

“I hated it,” Canupp said of the consolidation effort.

Lockhart Cafe? is surrounded by old mill houses that have outlived the mill that was once the heart of the community.

In 1994, Milliken & Co., the town’s major employer, pulled out. Since then, new development has come slowly.

Recently, a Dollar General — referred to by some as “mini Walmart” — was built on the outskirts of town. Rounding out the local businesses are Bailey’s Cafe?, another small restaurant, and two gas stations.

A grocery store, pharmacy or doctor’s office are at least a 20-minute drive away in either Union or Chester County.

In front of the old mill pond, a painted red wall reads, “Welcome to the Beautiful Town of Lockhart.”

“Now, there’s really nothing here,” said Lockhart resident Ronnie Swanger as he passed a recent afternoon fishing at the pond. “It’s just a little forgotten mill village now.”

Swanger, a 1965 Lockhart High graduate, has lived in the town all his life.

“We had our own school, our own teachers," he said. "When I graduated, we only had about 17 seniors."

A 15-minute drive down Highway 9 from Lockhart is Jonesville, a larger and less centralized town.

Jonesville has more residents and businesses than Lockhart, but shared its feelings about consolidation.

Kolby Gage, a lifelong Jonesville resident, was in the school’s final graduating class in 2007. He said he didn’t think much about consolidation at the time. A decade later, he said he’s proud to have been part of history.

“There’s never another class coming from that building,” he said. “It’s part of the culture, even still today.”

Losing an identity

A lingering sore spot for Jonesville and Lockhart residents is how the consolidation plan was executed.

When the high schools were combined, school trustees decided to keep Union High's Yellow Jackets mascot at Union County High. That upset residents who had supported a plan proposed by a group of students, teachers and community members that would have created a new mascot, the Wolfpack, and new school colors to go with the new name.

But school trustees said redoing the signs at the school and elsewhere in the county would cost too much.

“I was disappointed in the way they did that,” lifelong Lockhart resident Gerald Gregory said.

Gage agreed.

“If they were going to combine the schools, they should’ve had a new mascot,” he said. “They shut down Jonesville, they shut down Lockhart, and just made Union bigger.”

Coming together

Some efforts were made to honor the connection the two last high school classes in the Jonesville and Lockhart buildings felt to their old schools.

The Jonesville and Lockhart high classes of 2008 and 2009 were allowed to be academically ranked with both Union County High students and with the Jonesville and Lockhart high groups, respectively. For two years, three high school valedictorians were recognized in Union County.

Students also could choose a transcript bearing the name of Union County, Jonesville or Lockhart high school.

“When it was all said and done, people wanted it to work,” Eubanks said. “And, over time, those people are the reason it worked.”

Eubanks understands why residents were upset. He said he told district staff to be ready to listen to people's concerns.

“We had to have empathy for those folks who had a sense of loss. A sense of healing had to be there,” he said. “The administration, the school board, everyone had to be a good listener. You weren’t going to talk anyone into understanding or accepting the schools were closed.”

A Cowpens High School graduate, Eubanks is no stranger to consolidation. He became principal of Broome High School one year after Spartanburg School District 3 merged Cowpens and Pacolet high schools.

Community members more readily accepted that consolidation because the new school was a fresh start with a new name and mascot, Eubanks said.

“I didn’t disagree with them. I tried to approach it like, ‘I know exactly what you’re talking about. I know those schools are a big part of your community,’” he said. “I think the greatest concern I heard was, ‘We will lose our identity.’ I said, ‘Try to help develop a new identity with that Union County High School.’ I feel there has been an attempt to do that, and just by virtue of the fact I didn’t hear anyone say the consolidation was a problem the last time I was down there, I think a lot of people did that.”

Acceptance

Even though the high school is gone, Gregory said he remains proud of Lockhart schools.

“We all still love and support that school and try to go to about everything they have,” Gregory said.

Students from Lockhart have benefited from going to Union County High, and have more opportunities there now than they would have had at the old school, Swanger said.

“I really didn’t like it to start with, but I really think it’s a good thing now,” he said.

There was also no way the district could've sustained three high schools in the long run, given the declining enrollment, aging facilities and small tax base, Eubanks said.

Roach said in the decade since consolidation, the district has worked hard for its students and its residents. The district has increased the programs offered at Union County High to accommodate students from across the county.

Gregory said while he thinks the process should’ve been handled differently, the bitterness many once felt has long since disappeared.

“You’ve got some with grudges from the start, but it has been good for the kids,” he said.

Eubanks said that sentiment is what has ultimately prevailed.

“There are a lot of people who still have a lot of value for those two schools in their soul, and that’s not going away,” Eubanks said. “I think everyone has come to accept, to a great degree, that it was in the best interest of the students in Union County so they could be better provided for academically.”

WEDDING: Thatcher – Chadwick

Grace Ellis Chadwick and John Zachary Thatcher, both of Aiken, SC, were married Nov. 23, 2019 at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church. The Reverend Grant B. Wiseman officiated. Claytor Lockhart, cousin of the bride, of Columbia, SC, served as Acolyte.The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Robert Chadwick of Aiken, SC. She is a maternal granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Rivers Claytor, Jr. of Salem, VA. She is a paternal granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John David Chadwick of Bristow, VA.The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Russ...

Grace Ellis Chadwick and John Zachary Thatcher, both of Aiken, SC, were married Nov. 23, 2019 at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church. The Reverend Grant B. Wiseman officiated. Claytor Lockhart, cousin of the bride, of Columbia, SC, served as Acolyte.

The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Robert Chadwick of Aiken, SC. She is a maternal granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Rivers Claytor, Jr. of Salem, VA. She is a paternal granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John David Chadwick of Bristow, VA.

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Russell Thatcher, Jr. of Aiken, SC. He is a maternal grandson of Mrs. Connie Wheeler and the late Mr. Bobby Wheeler of Alma, GA. He is a paternal grandson of Mrs. Judy Thatcher and the late Mr. John Russell Thatcher, Sr. of Charlotte, NC.

Catherine Chadwick, sister of the bride, of Aiken, SC, and Merritt Rowe, cousin of the bride, of Holly Springs, NC, were the maids of honor. Emily Rowe, cousin of the bride, of Charlotte, NC; Sarah Tesikova, sister of the groom, of Roznov, Czech Republic; Riley Kunstel, cousin of the bride, of Gainesville, VA; and Sarah Beth Moore, friend of the bride, of Lexington, SC, all served as bridesmaids. Junior bridesmaid was Mary Lee Lockhart, cousin of the bride, of Columbia, SC.

Best man was Austin Dove, friend of the groom, of Warrenton, VA. Groomsmen were Matthew Travis, friend of the groom, of Aiken, SC; Kevin Crawford, friend of the groom, of Abington, MD; Steve Ernst, friend of the groom, of Rosedale, MD; Nick Keel, friend of the groom, of Greenville, SC; and Rivers Chadwick, brother of the bride, of Aiken, SC. John and Robert Burton, cousins of the groom, of Charlotte, NC, served as ushers.

Flower girls were Zoe and Sadie Tipping, of Columbia, SC. Toby Tipping, of Columbia, SC, and Charles and Victor Walsh, of Lexington, SC, were the page boys.

Special music was provided by Don Dupee, Director of Music, St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, and a great aunt of the bride, Lori Chadwick Auten, of Charlotte, NC.

Godparents of the bride, Scott and Liz Lewis, of Bristow, VA; aunt of the bride, Beth Kunstel, of Gainesville, VA; uncle of the bride, Jason Lockhart, of Columbia, SC; and uncle of the groom, Larry Burton, of Charlotte, NC were readers.

Scott and Liz Lewis, aforementioned, alongside their children, Caroline and Colin Lewis, also of Bristow, VA, were greeters.

Family friend, Betsy Moore, of Lexington, SC, was the wedding director. Betsy, alongside her daughters, Sarah Beth Moore, aforementioned, and Kathryn Moore, hosted a kitchen shower for the bride.

A dinner and dance reception was held at Woodside Plantation Country Club. Aunts of the bride, Catherine Lockhart, of Columbia, SC, and Sarah Rowe, of Holly Springs, NC, held a farewell breakfast for the couple at Rose Hill before the couple returned to Spartanburg, SC where they will reside.

The bride is a 2019 graduate of USC-Columbia with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Public Health. Grace is employed with the FBI-Charlotte Division, working for the Crimes against Children and Human Trafficking program. Maid of honor, Merritt Rowe, hosted Grace and friends in Sunset Beach, NC for a bachelorette weekend.

The groom is a 2019 graduate of USC-Columbia with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. Zach is a first-year medical student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas. Zach’s bachelor weekend was spent in New Orleans, LA.

The groom's family hosted the rehearsal dinner at The Willcox.

In lieu of wedding favors, the couple made a donation to USC-Dance Marathon, an organization near and dear to their hearts. To learn more about USCDM, please visit USCDM.org.

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