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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 Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's Island, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Sullivan's Island, SC
Family Law Attorney Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's 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 Sullivan's Island, SC

Visitors and residents recall coyote encounters, attacks on Sullivan’s Island

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.The Jourdan family says they experienced a too-close encounter with a coyote over the weekend.“They were out halfway to the ...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Sullivan’s Island dog walkers and regulars are speaking up about their personal experiences with coyotes.

This comes a day after town officials reported five coyote-led attacks involving dogs within the month of August.

They say the wild animals has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often than usual.

The Jourdan family says they experienced a too-close encounter with a coyote over the weekend.

“They were out halfway to the water, from the dune, so middle of the beach. And they were attacked by coyotes,” Jourdan said.

Five-year-old Willie Nelson, the Jourdan family dog, was taken by two coyotes early Saturday morning while on a walk with a babysitter.

Jourdan says it happened in broad daylight and in the middle of the beach.

He adds the family was devastated by the loss of their “wonder dog.”

“I was trying to get closure for my family’s sake, for Willie, because we weren’t even there. Which was frustrating. I crawled on my belly for over four miles between stations 26 and 28,” Jourdan said.

The attack occurred at Station 27, a part of the beach several residents have called a “breeding ground” for coyote packs.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say the breed has been approaching people, dogs and roaming open areas of the beach more often.

They add that mid-summer and fall are peak active times for these animals, meaning it is when coyotes migrate to new spaces, feed and have young.

SCDNR officials say another reason for the increased interactions could be from them being opportunistic feeders, meaning they will be quick and take anything they need.

Others say they have been chased by coyotes in the past but escaped.

“We were walking in June when a coyote came out of the dunes and started chasing,” Sullivan’s regular Shelly Carson said. “I was able to chase it away, and it ran down the beach to chase a golden retriever.”

Now, they avoid the area altogether or take proactive measures to be able to walk safely.

“I’ve always known there are coyotes here,” Carson said. “Never seen one until this year. Really, March was the first time I had my first sighting and started carrying pepper spray on the beach. In June I started carrying a birdie alarm. And now I carry a stick with me too.”

Visitors are asking for help from officials to curb the problem.

“It’s close to our hearts, but the coyote system is unfortunately not something that is new, declining or lessened. Rather the opposite,” Jourdan said.

They ask for coyote population control, area management and listening to residential concerns.

Town officials say they do have systems in place to manage the problem, which include education, tracking, hazing and lethal control.

They ask anyone who experiences an encounter or sighting to report the problem immediately.

If you run into a coyote, you’re advised to react loudly, throw small sticks or cans or spray the animal with water.

For more information on coyotes along Sullivan’s Island, click here.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

SCE&G’s former seaside worker perk eyed for $30M-plus social club on Sullivan’s Island

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area....

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A newly formed development group plans to invest more than $30 million to acquire and renovate a 90-year-old, vacant private oceanfront club on this seaside enclave.

But elected officials want more details before signing off on allowing a commercial project in a residential area.

Sullivan’s Island Bathing Co. is asking the town to allow a members-only social venture called the Ocean Club at 1735 Atlantic Ave. as a conditional use in an area zoned for single-family homes.

Shep Davis, the development firm’s managing partner, pointed out last week that the property operated as a private club for close to a century without being open to island residents.

Under this latest proposal, they’ll have that option for the first time — at a cost of a $60,000 sign-up fee and an estimated $500 in monthly dues.

The property had been known for decades as the Sand Dunes Club. It was a private beachside retreat for employees of the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., which Dominion Energy acquired in early 2019 after the V.C. Summer nuclear plant debacle 18 months earlier.

The Richmond, Va.-based utility closed the property at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, and it never reopened, according to attorney Brian Hellman, a Sullivan’s resident who is representing the development group.

Built in 1933 for $14,000, the then 5,400-square-foot structure was called Jasper Hall, an officer’s club for military personnel stationed at nearby Fort Moultrie. SCE&G acquired it in the 1950s and expanded it over the years to just under 10,000 square feet.

Davis said the property has not been properly kept up for several years and is in disrepair.

One neighbor recently complained of the uncovered pool starting to smell and becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Hellman and Davis said the pool is being maintained.

$30 million-plus

Davis estimated it will take an investment of “in excess of $30 million” for his group to buy the property, overhaul the building and amenities and place a stormwater retention pond underground. Retrofitting the pool alone, he said could cost half a million dollars.

Real Estate

Improvement plans include offering separate pools for families and adults, upgrading the existing building and landscaping the parking area. The developers also would add a fitness center, dining terrace and gazebo along with a new entry area off a beach access path.

“We can preserve the building and re-create the club for its historical use,” Davis said.

Hellman said the current proposal comes after gathering input during several meetings with residents and town leaders over the past few months.

He said the private-membership venue will provide a place for homeowners to eat and exercise without having to drive off the island or jockey for tables with tourists at the restaurants in the town’s small business district.

“It will be a gathering place to socialize that won’t compete with beachgoers,” Hellman said. “Dining will not be open to the general public and will reduce the need for residents to leave the island.”

The 3.5-acre club site is owned by a company affiliated with Charleston real estate investor John Derbyshire, the former owner of the chain of Money Man Pawn shops. The firm paid Dominion $16.2 million for the property in 2022, according to Charleston County land records.

A large house is being built for Derbyshire, who plans to remain a partner in the project, on part of the property next to the club, according to Hellman.

Members matters

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The developer said the goal is that the Ocean Club will be open to all Sullivan’s residents who want to join. Davis estimated the venture will need at least 400 members to get the project off the ground.

The proposed Ocean Club would give priority to individuals and families who primarily reside on the island, said Jim Wanless, one of the partners. Off-island residents could join, too.

Real Estate

The proposed parking rules to allow a social club in a residential area require at least one parking space for every 10 memberships whose primary or secondary residences are within 2½ miles. Sixty percent of those spaces must be designated for golf carts and low-speed vehicles.

For members living outside the 2½-mile range, which is basically anyone who doesn’t live on Sullivan’s, one vehicle parking space would be required for every five memberships.

The rules also would require one bicycle space — through a rack or corral — for every 20 memberships.

“For whatever the number will be of those living off the island, they most certainly would come by car,” Davis said. “On-island residents would have much less need for parking” since they’d have the option to come by golf cart, bike or foot.

Tentative plans call for 50 car parking spaces, at least an equal number of golf cart spaces and “adequate” bicycle parking spaces, Hellman said.

Though the membership will be open to all island residents, the developers don’t expect everyone to join. They also have not set a cap on membership.

“We are trying to come up with the right number of members for the club without excluding property owners,” Davis said.

Talking to the town

During a public workshop last week, where a standing-room-only crowd spilled into the hallway, the developers addressed a list of written questions from elected officials, including the benefit to the town if the club is allowed.

$30M private club floated for Sullivan’s Island gets cautious reception

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A $30-million-plus private social hub being proposed for South Carolina’s wealthiest ZIP code is probably not going to advance very quickly.Sullivan’s Island’s Town Council didn’t give the Ocean Club on Atlantic Avenue a warm reception during its meeti...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A $30-million-plus private social hub being proposed for South Carolina’s wealthiest ZIP code is probably not going to advance very quickly.

Sullivan’s Island’s Town Council didn’t give the Ocean Club on Atlantic Avenue a warm reception during its meeting Aug. 15. Elected officials indicated they wanted to wait to consider the big-ticket redevelopment project at what was known for decades as the Sand Dunes Club.

They said they hope to gather more information on the developer’s background, study traffic impacts and learn more about the financial and other implications to neighboring homes and the town.

Real Estate

They also noted the club doesn’t have to be private, and alternate proposals should be considered that all residents could benefit from — not just those who can afford the estimated $60,000 membership fee and $6,000 in annual dues under the current plan.

“I don’t think we have enough information to make an intelligent decision,” said Councilwoman Jody Latham. “We don’t want to make the wrong decision either way.”

Mayor Patrick O’Neil called it “a giant decision” that will affect residents and Sullivan’s for generations to come.

Their comments came after more than two dozen residents spoke for and against the club concept.

The majority were in favor of the idea as a community gathering place while property owners who were against the plan said they viewed it as a commercial operation in a residential district. The opposition also questioned if officials would set a precedent by approving a conditional use for the property.

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The town also received about five dozen letters related to the proposed Ocean Club, with 32 in support and 27 opposed.

Shep Davis, managing partner of the Sullivan’s Island Bathing Co., is leading the effort to create the club. He asked Town Council to advance the proposal to a public hearing before the Planning Commission in September.

Brian Hellman, an attorney representing the developer, said that’s not going to happen since council members indicated they wanted more information.

The property first served as club for military personnel stationed at nearby Fort Moultrie starting in the 1930s. It later became a private beachside retreat for employees of the former South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

Dominion Energy, which bought SCE&G in 2019, closed the Sand Dunes Club at the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. It was never reopened.

The 3.5-acre site is now owned by a company affiliated with Charleston real estate investor John Derbyshire, the former owner of the Money Man Pawn shop chain. His firm paid Dominion Energy $16.2 million for the property last year.

Police recover 17-year-old drowning victim on Sullivan's Island

Police recover 17-year-old drowning victim on Sullivan's Island Police recover 17-year-old drowning victim on Sullivan's Island News The body of a 17-year-old male from North Charleston was recovered from Sullivan’s Island early Tuesday morning. ...

Police recover 17-year-old drowning victim on Sullivan's Island

Police recover 17-year-old drowning victim on Sullivan's Island

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The body of a 17-year-old male from North Charleston was recovered from Sullivan’s Island early Tuesday morning.

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News / Sep 5, 2023 / 11:39 AM EDT

The body of a 17-year-old male from North Charleston was recovered from Sullivan’s Island early Tuesday morning.

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The Most Expensive Beaches in South Carolina to Buy a Second Home

Have you ever dreamed of rolling out of bed to watch the sun rise over the ocean waves? Do you find that a week at the beach is too short? If you love to spend your days searching for sea shells, watching for marine wildlife, or simply walking in the sand, you may have thought about purchasing a second home that would let you enjoy the ocean any time you please. In fact, some of the beaches in ...

Have you ever dreamed of rolling out of bed to watch the sun rise over the ocean waves? Do you find that a week at the beach is too short? If you love to spend your days searching for sea shells, watching for marine wildlife, or simply walking in the sand, you may have thought about purchasing a second home that would let you enjoy the ocean any time you please. In fact, some of the beaches in South Carolina are among some of the most popular in the entire country.

Each year, thousands of visitors flock to Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, and other beachside towns in South Carolina and its neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina. Yet if you have ever considered purchasing a beach house, you know that oceanfront property does not come cheap. This article covers five of the most popular and most expensive beaches in South Carolina. You will discover basic facts about each place and the key numbers that prove that they are among the most expensive places to buy a beach house in the entire state. Let’s dive in now, starting with the most expensive beach community in South Carolina.

Sullivan’s Island

First on the list of most expensive beaches in South Carolina is the town of Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Island is a barrier island close to Charleston Harbor. This 2.5-mile island has a small-town feel with gorgeous beaches, marshes, and plenty of history and culture for visitors to enjoy. Located only about 10 miles outside of downtown Charleston, you can reach Sullivan’s Island after a quick 20-minute drive. This beach town is a popular destination for families with young children and retirees alike and provides plenty of award-winning restaurants, watersports like kayaking and swimming, and historic landmarks.

The quiet, picturesque town gives residents and visitors a sense of rural peace while a population of only about 2,000 ensures that neighbors know each other. The majority of homes are owned, with fewer than 20% of residents renting their homes on Sullivan’s Island. However, purchasing a home here will come at a steep price tag.

In June 2023, the average home price in Sullivan’s Island was around $3 million – but in 2022 the majority of single-family homes in Sullivan’s Island sold for $3.8 million. Halfway through 2023, the year’s median was up to $4.7 million. In June 2023, one oceanfront home sold for an incredible $6.29 million, setting a record for the year. Back in November 2020, another oceanfront villa sold for a whopping $8.2 million! Not only is Sullivan’s Island the most expensive beach community in which to buy a house in South Carolina, but it is also one of the top most expensive in the country!

Kiawah Island

Next up is Kiawah Island, a beach in South Carolina called an “oasis of untouched natural beauty and renowned hospitality.” The town of Kiawah Island is located about 21 miles outside of Charleston. With 10 miles of beaches and diverse habitats – from sand dunes to forests and marshes – Kiawah Island is the place to find wildlife thriving. From sea turtles to alligators and whitetail deer and bobcats, Kiawah Island is a window into ocean ecosystems and land mammals alike. This resort island has world-renowned golf resorts, including the famous Kiawah Island Golf Resort which has hosted golfing championships.

This charming resort island has a regular calendar of events, a thriving restaurant and shopping scene, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Buying a home on Kiawah Island, however, could be an adventure of its own. Most of the homes on Kiawah Island are rented out during the year to the numerous guests visiting the beaches. Homeowners can expect to pay steep homeowners association (HOA) fees, significant upfront costs, flood insurance, and more. However, the local market makes up for that with a lot of options. Do you want to live in a condo? Would you prefer to buy a house? Are you looking for a beachfront mansion? Whichever it is, Kiawah Island has it all.

In 2022, the median price of a single-family home was $2.7 million. The island saw an incredible $742 million in sales.

Isle of Palms

The town of Isle of Palms is located on the barrier island also called “Isle of Palms.” This residential and resort community with a population of just over 4,300. Take a 20-minute drive from Charleston, and you might end up walking the six miles of white, sandy beaches. Isle of Palms has many bike paths around the island, lots of recreation facilities and opportunities to enjoy every sport from tennis to softball. On the north end of the island, the Wild Dunes Resort commands 1,500 acres of land. There, you will find pools, tennis courts, and golf, as well as homes and vacation rentals.

Isle of Palms is often voted one of the best places to live in South Carolina since the town offers plenty of restaurants and activities and operates like a tiny city. This self-contained ecosystem has everything you will need to live or vacation in a beachside house.

However, purchasing a home on the Isle of Palms might not be easy. In 2022, the median home price for a single-family home was $1.98 million. Yet by June 2023, the median home price was already up to $2.15 million – and prices still seemed to be on the upswing.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a town on Folly Island. In this beachfront city just south of Charleston, life revolves around the ocean. Whether biking the beachfront trails, kayaking, surfing, swimming, or boating, visitors flock to Folly Beach to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand. This 12-square-mile barrier island offers 6 miles of beaches and a quirky assortment of local businesses – from seafood restaurants to cafes and small shops.

Folly Beach is also steeped in history. From pirate legends to Civil War history, Folly Beach was historically the site of dastardly deeds and military occupation. Despite being abandoned after the Civil War and later being hit by devastating hurricanes, Folly Beach made an amazing comeback during the 20th century. Today, the boardwalk and the many local attractions bring thousands of visitors to the town that 2,400 residents call home.

In 2022, the median cost of a single-family home in Folly Beach was $1.66 million. Even a small two-bedroom bungalow could easily set you back $1.2 million.

Seabrook Island

Yet another Charleston-area beach town is Seabrook Island. This small, welcoming oceanfront community boasts of natural beauty, miles of pristine beaches, forest, and marshland. Seabrook Island is a private community on a gated barrier island. This means that Seabrook Island is exclusively accessible to residents and their guests. Privacy, peace, and nature attract members who want to enjoy the natural wonders away from crowded beaches.

Thanks to its exclusivity, Seabrook Island features many luxury homes, including those that look out at the ocean or feature river, marsh, forest, or golf course views. As a planned community, Seabrook Island’s designers sought to maintain the natural habitat, keep the local wildlife, and provide luxury real estate.

Unlike in other towns on this list, there is a unique process to become part of the Seabrook Island community. The Seabrook Island Real Estate team is your official source for buying and selling homes in Seabrook Island. You get the choice to buy a unique home or build your own, with the chance to surround yourself with incredible sights. The average home size on Seabrook Island is about 3,000 square feet. With 2,600 residential properties, you can choose from among 38 different mini-communities “within the community” – get a villa, cottage, or townhome.

In 2022, the median cost of a single-family home on Seabrook Island was $1.2 million. By June 2023, that cost had risen to $1.37 million.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © George A. Kenna/Shutterstock.com

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