Are you considering filing for divorce? The dissolution of a marriage is rarely a simple matter, but the divorce lawyers at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel have years of experience and can help you through this often challenging phase. We understand what you are going through and we can help you find solutions amid uncertainty.
This might be the first time in your life that you’ve needed an attorney. You may be unsure of what qualities to look for when selecting the law firm that’s right for you and your situation.
Here are some of the reasons we believe you should work with us at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel:
- Experienced – Our attorneys measure their legal careers in decades.
- Focused – We are a client-focused law firm. Your concerns are our priority.
- Responsive – Open lines of communication and frequent updates keep you informed every step of the way.
- Local – With deep roots in South Carolina, we are proud to call the Rock Hill area home.
- Straightforward – You can count on us to give you honest advice without the sugar coating.
- Cost-effective – We aim to deliver quality legal services at rates you can afford.
- Compassionate – You’re going through a difficult time. We respect that and treat our clients with courtesy and kindness.
How Our Family Law Firm Can Help Your Family Through a Divorce
We have represented clients in divorce and separation situations for over 45 years. Most individuals will never encounter a more difficult and emotional task than the decision to separate or seek a divorce. When the time comes for such a decision, you must be prepared. Your life is about to change drastically and you need to have a plan and the appropriate representation in order to protect yourself, your children, and your assets.
Our attorneys will help you formulate a strategy and prepare you for the challenges of settlement, mediation, and litigation. It is our commitment to be with you through each and every step of the process and to not only seek the best possible outcome but to also make sure that you are aware of all of the possible options at every stage and fully understand the implications of each option.
Clients are much calmer and able to make sounder decisions when they have the benefit of experienced counsel. We strive to not only give sound legal advice but to also help our clients emotionally through the changes associated with separation and divorce.
What to Do If You Are Considering Separation or Divorce
A good first step is to organize and put together copies of all your important financial documents. A top priority is proof of both your current income and your spouse’s current income, such as tax returns, recent paystubs, or banking records. The court will also need proof of the value of all marital property and the amount of any marital debts as of the date of filing, so it is important to have statements that are as close as possible to that date. You can reduce your legal fees by gathering and assembling this information yourself rather than having your attorney do it.
Compile a detailed list of all marital and non-marital assets owned by you and your spouse, including debts. Marital property is generally any property or debt acquired during the marriage that exists as of the date of filing for divorce. A great deal of time is usually spent in identifying the marital and non-marital assets. The early creation of a comprehensive list will save you time and money. Having this list at the start of the action will allow your attorney to formulate a strategy to provide your desired result as to property/debt division.
Also, you can prepare a short-term plan regarding your living arrangements for yourself and your children. Generally, one of the parties will vacate the shared home either by agreement or by court order before the divorce is finalized. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Would you prefer to remain in the marital home on a temporary basis before that decision is made?
- Do you want your children to remain in the marital home or attend school in their current school district?
- Can you afford to pay the expenses associated with the marital home (two spouses rarely can live as well in two separate residences as they did in one residence with combined incomes).
Your attorney will be better able to formulate a strategy if you have a clear preference for your living arrangements pending a final resolution of your separation or divorce action.
This is also a good time for you to consult with trusted, confidential, and objective family members, friends or counselors regarding your intentions to separate or divorce. Because of the often highly emotional and stressful nature of ending a marriage, it is good for you to have emotional support and someone to help you make some objective decisions. Discussing your intentions will also allow you to uncover additional issues and make a list of questions for your initial and subsequent meetings with your attorney.
How Family Law in South Carolina Is Different
There are two options for divorce in South Carolina: the no-fault option or the fault option. Essentially, if the cause for the divorce is not a reason such as adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness or drug use, or desertion by one spouse for at least a year, then the divorce is a no-fault divorce.
To file a no-fault divorce in South Carolina, spouses must live apart for one year. And once you file for divorce, there’s a minimum 3-month waiting period before the divorce decree may be issued. There are also some residency requirements that may increase the time you must wait before filing if you want to file in South Carolina. Other states also have mandatory waiting periods before filing for divorce, but in most other places, the waiting period may be waived by mutual consent.
For an at-fault divorce, the process is much faster. If all issues have been resolved on a final basis, a divorce decree may be obtained 90 days after filing.
Let McKinney, Tucker & Lemel Help
If you are dealing with divorce, child support, custody, alimony or other family-related legal issues in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, York County, Lancaster County or surrounding areas of South Carolina, look to the experienced divorce attorneys of McKinney, Tucker & Lemel for the qualified assistance you need to seek the outcome you deserve.
The attorneys at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel have deep ties to the communities we serve, and have dedicated our careers to making sure clients like you get the results they expect.
We can also help you if you are planning on a divorce but both sides are willing and able to divide all property and settle custody issues out of court—an uncontested divorce. Our lawyers want to make this step as easy as possible for you.
This is a hard time, and we’re here to help you through it. We want to settle your arrangements in the way that you prefer, whether that’s in court or in out-of-court negotiations. Our attorneys will help you formulate a strategic legal plan to help meet your goals, including custody, alimony, child support and preservation of assets. We take care of the hard part so that you can focus on your fresh start.