to help you navigate your divorce and child custody matter
The below definitions are provided in part by the American Bar Association:
- Affidavit – A voluntary, written, or printed statement of facts signed in front of a notary public.
- Alimony – The money paid by one spouse to the other in order to fulfill the financial obligation that comes with marriage.
- Arbitration – When disputing parties participate in a process where they agree in advance to accept the decision of a mutually-selected arbitrator which will hear both sides and make a decision.
- Child Support – Financial support for the child(ren).
- Complaint – The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. It states the facts and identifies the action the court is asked to take.
- Contempt of Court – Willful failure to comply with an official court order or judge’s demand.
- Contested Divorce – any case in which the court must decide a disputed issue.
- Counterclaim – A claim made by the defendant in a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff.
- Defendant – The person defending or denying a lawsuit – the person who is sued for divorce
- Discovery – A process prior to trial in which both parties gather information from each other.
- Equitable Distribution – The process of distributing property on a basis of several factors.
- Guardian ad litem – The person appointed by the court to look out for the best interests of a child.
- Interrogatories – Written questions sent to a party having information or interest in a case.
- Jurisdiction – The authority of the court to rule on issues relating to the case.
- Motion – A request made to a court or judge which seeks a ruling or order in favor of the applicant.
- No-fault divorce – A divorce in which it doesn’t matter who did what to whom that caused the marriage to break down; all that matters is that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
- Plaintiff – A person who brings a lawsuit or action.
- Pro Se – A person who represents himself in court alone without the help of a lawyer is said to appear pro se.
- Reply – The response by a party to charges raised in a pleading by the other party.
- Subpoena – An order compelling a person to appear to testify to produce documents.
- Summons – A legal document used to begin a civil case or to tell a person they must appear in court or respond to a lawsuit.
Q: What is a temporary hearing?
A: A temporary hearing (temporary relief) is a hearing in which the Court issues a temporary order. Issues that may be decided include: who lives in the home, who is responsible for paying various bills, where the children will live, who will make major decisions for the child, visitation schedule, and amount of child support.
The temporary hearing is quick – typically only lasting 15-30 minutes. It is an important hearing as the order generally governs until a Final Order is issued.
Q: I was served with a summons and complaint from my spouse. What happens now?
A: As the defendant, you have 30 days to answer the complaint and possibly file a counterclaim.
Q: Do you charge for an initial consultation?
A: We do. Our initial consultation is what we call a “discovery meeting” and we charge $75 for an hour meeting with an attorney. It is more than a simple initial consultation. You will learn valuable information in regard to your case.
Q: What is discovery?
A: Discovery comes in many forms. Your attorney will explain discovery in detail; however, the short version is it is a way to receive information from the other party.
Q: How much does a divorce or child custody legal matter cost?
A: This is a burning questions, as it should be, for most people. Going through a legal matter is stressful on its own. Add the potential high, unknown costs and the stress escalates more. We try to combat the stress by offering fixed fees on some of our services. Fixed fees allow you to know who much you will owe upfront. In other words, you will not receive a random bill each month requesting more money.
in Beaufort, SC and Throughout the Lowcountry.
In 24 hours or less, we will either schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation, or point you in the direction of someone who may be able to help if we cannot.
If we decide to work together, a Strategy Session will take place about a week after your Discovery Meeting. We will review documents and the strategy for moving forward.
Beaufort, SC 29902