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Clemson Criminal & Family Law Blog

Child support for future Olympic athletes

Many South Carolina residents watched television coverage of Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas competing at the Rio Summer Olympics. The two athletes are both at the top of their game, and they are both children of divorced parents. Phelps and Douglas are a reminder that children can still accomplish great things after their parents end their marriage.

A divorced parent who believes that they may have the next little Phelps or Douglas will probably have a lot of athletic expenses each month. Paying for extra coaching, traveling to compete in tournaments and purchasing sports equipment can add up. In some cases, a divorced parent who is paying child support may have to pay extra to cover the child's athletic expenses.

Divorce and custody cases make relocating less likely

In the past, it was fairly common for people to move to other states in order to get better jobs, to have better living situations and to have brighter futures. Since the mid-1960s, however, the U.S. migration rates have significantly declined. A study points to the idea that divorce and child custody have a strong impact on why people in South Carolina and around the country are choosing to stay put rather than to move.

A researcher at the University of Connecticut looked at data concerning divorce and child custody along with migration rates. Migration for this purpose is defined as a person moving from one state to another. He found that divorce and child custody cases were strongly correlated with a reduction in the migration rates. Parents who have gone through child custody cases are especially less likely to move.

Concerns about finances during divorce

South Carolina residents who are getting a divorce and who are homeowners may need to make a number of financial decisions. This might be particularly difficult if they have not been responsible for many of the financial decisions in the marriage.

For example, they might wonder whether they should try to keep the house when the issue of property division arises. This might seem like a good idea if the mortgage has been paid off, but it may not be. If the house is large, it could be expensive to heat and cool. There are also other costs to consider such as overall upkeep.

Unemployed husbands may face higher divorce risk

A study has found that couples in South Carolina and throughout the country may be more likely to get a divorce if the husband is unemployed. Experts have speculated about the reasons that this is the case. One may be that men are more likely than women to be unemployed involuntarily.

The study, which was conducted by a sociology professor at Harvard, looked at more than 6,300 different-sex couples. The data specified a number of factors that do not seem to contribute to divorces. These included whether or not a wife had the ability to support herself, the couples' finances, and the equitable division of chores. While chore division did not affect younger couples, it did play a role in couples who married prior to 1975. For those couples, divorce risk increased as women did fewer household chores.

Determining where a child will live when parents divorce

When a South Carolina couple has a child, they may split parenting duties especially if one ends up working more than the other. If the couple decides to get a divorce later on, however, the parent who was primarily responsible for the child's care may be considered to be the primary caretaker. This can potentially influence where the child will live once the divorce is finalized.

The court determines who the child's primary caretaker was by considering who was responsible for certain tasks. These tasks potentially include bathing, dressing and feeding the child, arranging health care appointments and being involved in extracurricular or school activities.

The uses of a divorce settlement agreement

Couples in South Carolina who are getting a divorce may also put together what is known as a divorce settlement agreement. This document can offer a great deal of protection to both individuals. For the agreement to be mutually beneficial, however, it's important that it be prepared carefully and followed by both parties.

A divorce settlement agreement may be necessary if the couple must remain connected in some way after the divorce. This might be due to having children together or shared assets such as a business or real estate. People should keep in mind that the divorce settlement agreement supersedes any favors one spouse might provide to the other. In other words, if a spouse does something for the other out of kindness and the other spouse later tries to claim that the favor set a precedent, the response will be that the terms of the divorce settlement agreement are the ones that matter.

Alternatives to litigation in divorce

People in South Carolina who are considering divorce may already know that a number of options besides litigation are available, and that most of the time, they are less expensive and faster. Some couples might be able to do an uncontested divorce. Even for couples who have children and considerable assets, this may be a possibility if they are able to come to an agreement through negotiation.

Couples who would like to avoid litigation but still have some conflicts might benefit from mediation. In mediation, a neutral third party, who may or may not be an attorney, attempts to have the couple come to an agreement on outstanding issues. Each spouse is entitled to separate legal representation.

How to deal with a mortgage in a divorce

Homeowners in South Carolina who are facing divorce might wonder what steps they need to take in order to split their property. This process can be difficult enough that some divorced couples might choose to remain living in the same house if they are close to paying off the mortgage.

For those who don't want to continue living with their ex, there are other options. One person might buy out the other. To do this, the equity must first be calculated. From there, it's necessary to figure out if the equity should be split 50/50. Whether or not the couple had a prenuptial agreement, what their premarital assets were and what improvements were made to the home can all be part of this calculation.

Tips for social media during divorce

South Carolina couples who are getting a divorce might not think about the impact their social media usage could have on the process. However, people often reveal more than they realize on sites like Facebook, and even if the impression they give in their posts about their income or lifestyle is inaccurate, it could still be harmful in court. Many people also may not realize that electronic communications such as text messages and email are subject to a subpoena. The best policy is to avoid writing down anything that a person would not want to see brought up in court.

One man posted online about his job and his expensive vacation. Since he had asked for alimony on the grounds that he had no job, this was denied. In another case, a lawyer found that his client's estranged spouse had a business on the side that had not been disclosed. By presenting the evidence of the business on LinkedIn, the attorney won more child support for the client.

Strategies for property division

Asset division and property distribution may be among the most challenging aspects of a divorce in Texas. The specific property that is eligible for division, the value of that property and the best way of splitting it fairly are all major considerations for many divorcing couples. These considerations are especially vital for those going through a high-asset divorce.

The value of the couple's property may determine what path the divorce will take through the courts. It is common for divorcing couples of little to moderate wealth to have to negotiate for possessions such as household valuables, retirement accounts and lifetime savings. A more affluent couple going through a divorce is more likely to simply settle out of court in order to avoid a traumatic process.