At the South Carolina Law Offices of Lester & Hendrix in Columbia, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach, we work hard to prepare our clients for what lies ahead. Here are some of the questions we frequently hear during initial consultations and our answers.
- What proof is required to show grounds for divorce?
- Do I need to hire a private detective to prove grounds for divorce?
- Can I date while my divorce is pending?
- My ex is behind on alimony and child support. What recourse do I have?
- I am the custodial parent. Can I deny visitation?
- I have been divorced for a while and would like to change some of the provisions in the divorce decree. If my ex and I agree, would the changes be valid?
Contact the Law Offices of Lester & Hendrix for your family law issues
When you are dealing with divorce, separation, child custody, child support, or alimony issues, let us be your stabilizing force. We guide you through the legal process so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. Call us at 803-252-4700 or complete the online form to schedule your initial consultation.
Outside proof is normally necessary in addition to the testimony of the suing party. For instance, to show physical abuse, you might want to obtain a doctor's statement that he tended to your bruises as a result of a beating. It might be enough to bring forward witnesses who heard your screams and can testify if this coincides with the times and dates of the beatings. To prove adultery, photos of the spouse and lover holding hands or embracing or entering an apartment or motel are corroborative. To prove drunkenness, codeine bottles or canceled checks to liquor stores or tapes of drunken conversations or photos of empty liquor bottles all lined up are corroborative.
Sometimes the judge does not require corroborative evidence if he is thoroughly convinced there is no collusion, that is, that the parties conspired to fake grounds for divorce.
If you cannot afford to hire a private detective, you must be your own detective and be on the lookout to acquire the proof you and your attorney need. (Be aware your spouse's attorney probably said the same thing.) Upon request, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Lester & Hendrix will recommend a detective agency, but you must deal directly with them. Often, our clients have told us it was the best investment they have ever made.
We strongly recommend our clients do not date during the pendency of any divorce action. We believe that even innocent dating can unduly give evidence to the other side. A trial judge might have a "where there's smoke, there's fire" attitude and add unnecessary complications to the case.
You can go to the court clerk’s office in the court that ordered child support and request the clerk issue a garnishment against the supporting parent’s wages. To do this, you need to know your ex’s place of employment, address, and Social Security number. If your ex is at least one month behind, the court sends a garnishment to the employer and the support will be taken out of his or her paycheck. You could also go after your ex’s property, but this is a longer process and might not be as satisfying, since cars and homes are often leased and mortgaged. Another option is to file for contempt and get an order to show cause why the payments are not being made. This puts your ex back in court. A skilled family law attorney can review the options with you and guide you to the best solution for your needs.
The purpose of visitation rights is for children of a divorced couple to understand they have two parents who are entitled to love their children and be loved in return. If the children come back from a weekend with their non-custodial parent and are upset or tell you they do not want to go anymore, that is not reason to deny visitation unless their health and welfare are endangered by the visitation. If you are having a disagreement with your ex or harbor ill feelings, that is not reason to deny visitation. However, the noncustodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation. That means if he or she wants to see your child in the middle of the night or is drunk or stoned, you do not have to permit visitation. Be aware that if you deny visitation, your spouse could file a petition for modification.
I have been divorced for a while and would like to change some of the provisions in the divorce decree. If my ex and I agree, would the changes be valid?
After your divorce, you might find it necessary or desirable to modify one or more of the stipulations in your divorce decree, property settlement, or custody and support arrangements. You must follow proper procedure if you want that modification or set of modifications to be valid and must show a change in circumstance. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Lester & Hendrix can work with you to ensure your desired changes proceed through the judicial process appropriately.