Divorce Attorney in Pacolet SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Pacolet, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Pacolet. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Pacolet, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Pacolet" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Pacolet, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Pacolet SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Pacolet, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Pacolet, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Pacolet, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Pacolet our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Pacolet

A divorce in Pacolet means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Pacolet, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Pacolet, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Pacolet, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Pacolet, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Pacolet, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Pacolet, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Pacolet, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Pacolet, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Pacolet, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Pacolet for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Pacolet, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Pacolet, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Pacolet, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Pacolet, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Pacolet, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Pacolet, SC

Man pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Upstate town

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet b...

PACOLET, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County man pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from an Upstate town.

Callis Anderson Jr., a contractor, was arrested by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for defrauding the Town of Pacolet by embezzling money from a renovation project.

The project was to renovate an old mill building into a senior center.

Anderson Jr. was contracted between 2014-2016 to work on the renovation, according to officials.

“That dream was stolen from the town by this greedy person, Mr. Anderson,” Pacolet Town Administrator Patrick Kay said. “It will never be what was originally dream up for the town.”

The judge ordered Anderson Jr. to pay $115,000 in restitution. He is also under probation and will face jail time if he violates it.

The Mayor, Ned Camby, said he’s glad Anderson is being held accountable for his actions, even if the town is not getting the full amount back.

From the Attorney General’s Office:

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that the contractor charged in one of the largest frauds against a small town in South Carolina in years has pleaded guilty and been ordered to pay restitution of $115,000.

Callis J. Anderson, Jr., 68, pleaded guilty to Breach of Trust, Obtaining money or property Under False Pretenses, and Embezzlement felony charges in front of acting Circuit Judge Daniel Martin on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson provided $60,000 of the restitution immediately and was sentenced to two 10-year sentences and a one-year sentence, with all sentences suspended to five years of probation, provided the balance of the restitution is paid.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, who assigned prosecutors from his office to handle the case, emphasized the importance of prosecutions such as this one. “Contractor and other white-collar fraud can be every bit as devastating as losses from other types of crimes. For small towns, the outcome is especially devastating because they have less public money and are disproportionally hurt by these schemes,” Wilson said.

The case began in 2014 when the town of Pacolet had a dream to build a Senior Center, which they planned to do by transforming an old mill building Milliken had gifted the town. The town obtained gifts and grants to secure funding for the project and then hired Anderson to oversee the largest and final portion of the project, the transformation of part of the Mill’s old cloth room into a senior activity center, complete with a commercial kitchen so healthy meals could be prepared at the center.

The state alleged, and Anderson pleaded guilty to, taking money that was to be for the kitchen and other portions of the project and stealing it. Because of Anderson’s theft, the town ran short of money and had to take out a loan, which was supposed to be sufficient to complete it. Anderson embezzled a portion of that money as well and never completed the project, resulting in the town being in debt and having to repay grants and loans without getting the desired recreation center.

Reached for comment, Pacolet Mayor Ned Camby indicated “Today was a great day. Callis Anderson—the man who stole the town of Pacolet’s hopes and dreams of a beautiful, welcoming, and special place for all its citizens, but especially its senior citizens, to get together and play, eat, and socialize, has been held accountable for what he did to our town.”

The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agents Jacob Pridgen and Todd Ruffner and South Carolina Attorney General Investigator Valerie Williams and prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Donald Zelenka and Special Assistant Attorney Generals Tracy Meyers and John Meadors. Mr. Anderson was represented by attorneys Rick Vieth, Jennifer Wells, David Collins, and Stephen Denton, all of Spartanburg.

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — Multiple streets and roads in Western North Carolina and the Upstate have closed due to flooding from the onslaught of rain.

Bagwell Farm Road is closed until further notice due to debris. Drivers are asked to use Glenn Forest Boulevard as a detour for Bagwell Farm Road.

Hatchett Road in the Walnut Grove area is also closed.

According to Broad River Fire & Rescue, part of NC-9 is closed at High Rock Acres. There are trees and power lines down across the area. Additionally, roads are icy, so drivers have been urged to avoid travel.

In Greenville, parts of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, areas of Unity Park, the River Street underpass, the McDaniel underpass and the Sliding Rock Creek Bridge are closed.

Water is rushing down steps at Greenville High School. Students are having an e-learning day due to the weather.

Boilings Springs Road at Sugar Creek is closed due to the road being flooded.

A flash flood warning has been issued for Greenville County until 3 p.m.

Streets in Hendersonville are flooded due to large amounts of rain. The city has asked that individuals to not walk, swim or drive through the flood waters.

According to the City of Hendersonville, barricades have been put in areas impacted by flooding. Drivers are urged to not drive around barricades. Citations will be given out to drivers who ignore barricades.

The area’s Flood Response Plan has been upgraded to Flood Level 3, which means that flooding is actively happening.

The following roads and intersections are closed either by the City or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):

Laurens County

Residents in Laurens County shared images of flooding in the area.

A small SC town trusted him with a dream. Now half its annual budget is gone.

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for th...

PACOLET — Next door to Pacolet Town Hall sits a historic mill building that once was the center of the small Upstate town’s industry, but now languishes in disrepair.

The town had a vision to reclaim the Pacolet Mill Cloth Room and Warehouse’s former glory by renovating it into a senior center.

But nearly a decade later and more than $500,000 in public funds gone, the building rots and the contractor entrusted to fix it has been convicted of fraud.

The money amounts to roughly half the annual budget for the town of 2,300, town manager Patrick Kay told The Post and Courier.

Earlier this week, Spartanburg contractor Callis J. Anderson Jr. pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement, breach of trust and obtaining money under false pretenses.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said it weighed whether it was better to take the 68-year-old to trial where he faced as much as two decades in prison or strike a deal that would have the town get back at least a portion of the money.

In 2019, the State Law Enforcement Division accused Anderson of stealing $568,360 from the town between the time he was awarded the renovation contract in 2014 to 2017.

In the Aug. 14 deal, Anderson was sentenced to five years probation on the condition that he pays back $115,000 of the money he was paid.

The town had hoped for much more.

“He stole a dream,” Kay said. “He stole a portion of the community’s future. The $100,000, the town appreciates giving something back, but it pales in comparison to what he actually stole.”

Anderson’s attorney, Rick Vieth, didn’t respond to The Post and Courier’s request to comment.

The Attorney General’s office said that while the restitution is not all of the money that was taken, Anderson wouldn’t agree to a deal that required him to pay more.

“It was best for the town to get the $115,000 rather than zero,” Robert Kittle, spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, told The Post and Courier. “It’s a sure thing with the plea, but not necessarily for the trial.”

New family center to help address struggles of Pacolet community in Spartanburg County

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in re...

PACOLET — Residents living in rural areas of eastern Spartanburg County will have more accessibility to programs to improve their quality of life once the new Benjamin E. Mays Family Center opens in September.

Spartanburg School District 3 donated the former Middle School of Pacolet building on Sunny Acres Road for the new center. The school closed in June 2021 after the school district consolidated Cowpens Middle School and Middle School of Pacolet.

Pacolet, a town of about 2,500 residents, has struggled economically in recent years. It once relied on the textile industry to support jobs. With little industry and few jobs, the town's poverty rate is 21.2 percent, above the national average of 13.6 percent. The new center aims to help reverse these trends and offer renewed hope by providing access to services and programs offered through local non-profits.

Spartanburg News

"We are trying to build a resource center with programming and bring them to Pacolet so they don't have to travel to Spartanburg," said Jerry Rice, executive director of the Benjamin E. Mays Family Center. "I have been here the last four months working on getting to know people and develop relationships."

Rice said the center will open Sept. 7 with Favor Upstate providing support services for individuals and families affected by substance abuse disorders. Over the next several months, SC Works will begin providing job search and training opportunities at the center. ReGenesis Health Center, Hope Center for Children and First Steps Spartanburg will also partner with the center to offer services.

Spartanburg Politics

"We have some agreements already in place," Rice said. "There will be other programs run out of the center. People who live in small rural communities have to drive to Spartanburg for everything. We are working to find an easier way for them to get resources so they can can become self sufficient."

Spartanburg School District 3 donated 25 computers for the center, which will include conference space for meetings. The 50,000-square-foot building has two hallways connected to a space formerly used as a media center. Rice said the building remains in good shape and is scheduled to be cleaned in September. The former cafeteria space could be used to host meetings as well. Rice is also working with local churches to make people aware the center will be opening.

"The reception is people have been really positive," Rice said. "Trying to get the word out in a small community can be complicated and churches are going to be key in helping us do that."

Rice said the center could be used as a business incubator to encourage entrepreneurships. He noted that Pacolet and the surrounding rural communities continue to struggle since there are few jobs and barriers for some to transportation, however, programs at the center provide new opportunities.

"The old mill town has struggled over the years because everything was provided to them through the mill," Rice said. "They need to reach out and develop their own businesses and we can help them do that."

The Spartanburg Academic Movement has served as a consultant and lead in the center's grant writing process to secure more funding for programs. The center plans to use grant funding to offer a four-day program for 3K students. The Mary Black Foundation is also involved in working to secure funding for programs at the center.

Spartanburg News

"We are really excited about what they are doing in Pacolet," said Russell Booker, Spartanburg Academic Movement executive director, said. "They have done a really good job coming together in a strategic and thoughtful way with very little resources. Our role has been lead grant writer and support them in their overall work. What they will do is provide services not easily accessible in rural communities."

Benjamin E. Mays, a South Carolina native born in Greenwood County, was president of Morehouse College for 27 years and a mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who attended Morehouse. The Benjamin E. Mays Consolidated School in Pacolet was the first public school in the nation named after him.

Rice said the new center will include space to showcase Mays' life and contributions he made to the Civil Rights movement. A portrait of Mays hangs on a wall near the building's front entrance. Rice said the new center will bear Mays' name to honor his legacy and commitment to education throughout his life.

Middle School of Pacolet, formerly named the B.E. Mays Consolidated School, was built in 1953 to serve African American students. The name was changed to Pacolet Middle School in 1970 and later renamed Middle School of Pacolet in 1998 and Original Benjamin E. Mays School was added to the front of the building.

Upstate South Carolina Woman Hit With Tax Charges

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does ...

“Render unto Caesar,” people. I don’t like oppressively high taxes – or the politicians who perpetuate them. That’s why my news outlet has pushed for years lower punitively high income tax rates – and other anti-competitive levies. But just because South Carolina has a regressive, job-stifling tax code does not give people the right to cheat the system.

Tax fraud only escalates hardship for the rest of us … which is why I support enforcement measures against tax cheats.

Earlier this week, agents of the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) exercised their enforcement authority against 51-year-old Shelley Ann Rochester of Pacolet, S.C. According to a news release from the agency, Rochester is charged with eight counts of assisting in the preparation of false returns, six counts of tax evasion, and one count of furnishing false tax statements.

The end result of all those alleged crimes? A total of $475,721 in “fraudulent medical deductions for tax years 2016 through 2021 on behalf of herself or others.”

***

Worth noting?

“The taxpayers whose returns were prepared by Rochester had no knowledge of the fraudulent returns and did not consent to them,” SCDOR’s release noted.

Which is probably one reason they weren’t charged in connection with this case …

Rochester owes the state of South Carolina $23,263 as a result of her alleged fraud, SCDOR noted, and could wind up paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines. She is also facing several years in prison.

Rochester was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Columbia, S.C. on Thursday. Her case will be prosecuted by Allen Myrick in the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.

“By taking enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers, (SCDOR) seeks to prevent unfairly increasing the tax burden on those who do comply,” the agency’s statement concluded.

Again, this news outlet is not in the business of defending big government in its routine pickpocketing of hard-working taxpayers … but as I have previously noted there is a big difference between clever accounting and outright theft.

SCDOR encourages anyone who knows or suspects individuals or businesses of committing state tax crimes – such as tax evasion or tax fraud – to submit a tax violation complaint form (.pdf) and email it here.

***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

***

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Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.

***

*****

Pacolet's funny lady has 1.2 million TikTok followers, competed on UK's 'The Circle'

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian."My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I ...

Michelle Rider has always been able to find the humor in life and says she has her dad to thank for that.

Growing up in the small town of Pacolet, Rider and her father recognized humor through everyday scenarios which later sparked her passion to become a comedian.

"My dad was a truck driver and loved to come home and tell these dirty, Johnny jokes," Rider said. "My dad would take me to go see Jerry Clower, and when he walked out on stage and be around people that were laughing was amazing for me. I wanted to do that when I grew up."

Rider decided to chase that dream and became the Southern comedian known as "Shelly Belly" on TikTok. She made several skits featuring adult themes about women and relationships. Her skits were popular and she decided to try stand-up comedy and performed for the first time at the Comedy Zone in Greenville.

"I just told my husband that I wanted to go and do an open mic," Rider said. "He looked at me like I was crazy, but all these funny things were in my head. It's about my life, being a woman, what women go through and all these things that are relatable."

From TikTok to 'The Circle,' social media boosts Rider's career

Rider's career began to kick off when her son arrived home from active leave in the Marines. Her son showed her a video that he made on TikTok, the social media app that allows users to create and share videos. Rider decided to check out the app and eventually reached a mind-blowing, 1.2 million followers.

"I did a video and said 'Look, I have 200 followers!' I thought I was something," Rider said. "He looked at me and said 'Mom, I have friends with 5,000 followers.' Challenge accepted. I was laying in bed one night and I did a video about my neighbor, and it just blew up."

Netflix's hit reality show, "The Circle," reached out to Rider, asking if she would be interested in auditioning. Next thing she knew, Rider was in the United Kingdom to compete in the show's third season with other contestants to win $100,000.

"The Circle" is a social media-based competition where contestants live in the same apartment building but are never allowed to meet and must communicate online. The show is similar to "Big Brother."

Rider was eliminated on episode three, but it didn't bother her and she continued with her growing career as a comedian.

"When I say that I went on 'The Circle' as myself, I meant it," Rider said. "The only benefit that came out of it was the [Netflix] logo and people recognizing me. I built my own brand and do everything on my own. I am thankful I had the experience, and it's not really owed to anyone but God."

The day before the show aired, Rider was laid off from her job at a distribution company. She was upset and trying to figure out her next steps, but her husband assured her that another door will open and she could continue to live her dream.

The bittersweet moment allowed Rider to focus on her dreams and further her career as a stand-up comedian.

The laughs that give back

Rider's platform has allowed her to not only accomplish her dreams but to give back to the community and fans. She said charity benefits are some of her most enjoyable shows.

"I'm doing a fundraiser in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab for 'Just Say Something,'" Rider said. "I just got invited to do a benefit show in Georgia for domestic violence and child abuse. You do good for others and it will always come back to you."

Rider said the help and support of fellow comedians have helped her comedy career. Brandon Rainwater, a South Carolina comedian, is not only one of Rider's closest friends but is someone she considers a mentor.

"As a female, it's really hard," Rider said. "It's the hardest business to be in as a female. He [Rainwater] actually gave me my first show and the opportunities when a lot of people wouldn't. He's an amazing person and an amazing comedian."

Rainwater said Rider has both, the talent and the hustle.

"Her talent meets her hustle and not a lot of people can do that," Rainwater said. "Shelly is definitely putting in the work, and she definitely has her vision board planned out. It just works out together."

Rider recently announced she will be going on tour with comedian, Andrew Conn. The "Down Yonder Southern Tour" will take place on March 17-18 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also has tours scheduled with comedian Tanya Lee Davis.

Conn said he is excited about their upcoming tour together, and that their duo will make a shockwave.

"I think me and Michelle are gonna make a real good duo," Conn said. "We both started out on social media and both now into the millions of followers. It’s crazy how two strangers can meet and talk and then, boom, you're on together. I think we are going to make shockwaves in the standup comedy world!"

Rider will perform in Greenville at the Think Tank Brew Lab, located at 101 Airport Road, on May 4. To check out more tour dates, visit her website.

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