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South Carolina Divorce 101

Divorce is a difficult decision for anyone, whether it's you or your partner who initiates it. It's a painful experience that can leave you feeling shattered and alone in the dark. When you made your wedding vows, you did so with the intention of being together for life. You invested a lot of time and money into your wedding, inviting friends and family from all over South Carolina to share in your joy.

Now, you're faced with the harsh reality that you and your former spouse are no longer together. As your family law attorney in Columbia, SC, we understand how overwhelming this can be. We've assisted many clients through the divorce process and had the knowledge and tools to help them work through it and move on to greener pastures.

The CDH Law Firm Approach to Child Custody in South Carolina

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau states that 25% of children younger than 21 live with just one parent while the other parent resides elsewhere in the country? In such circumstances, many families must navigate the complicated and legally complex process of child custody. As seasoned family law attorneys, we have represented clients in all aspects and legal stages of child custody and support.

We focus in providing services for a range of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Drafting Reasonable Proposed Parenting Plans
  • Preparing Child Support Calculations
  • Communication with a Guardian ad Litem (if applicable)
  • Securing De Facto Custodian / Psychological Parent Rights
  • Negotiating Agreements Relating to Child Custody
  • Prosecuting Claims Related to Domestic Violence
  • Prosecuting and Defending Claims for
  • Adoption,
  • Termination of Parental Rights
  • Custody, and
  • Visitation
  • Defending Claims Alleging Abuse / Neglect by the Department of Social Services

Every family has its own distinct characteristics, and as such, child-related agreements must also be customized to fit each unique situation. In South Carolina, our team of skilled family law attorneys takes the time to understand our clients' individual goals and needs and tailor our services accordingly.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

South Carolina Alimony 101

When you get married, you go into the partnership believing that you'll be together forever. It makes sense, then, that most divorcing couples don't know very much about alimony in South Carolina (also referred to as spousal support). They ask questions such as:

  • Who gets alimony?
  • What is a reasonable amount of alimony?

Fortunately, working with a family law lawyer in Columbia, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Columbia, SC
Family Law Attorney Columbia, SC

What is Alimony in South Carolina?

Many individuals often mistake alimony for child support, but they are, in fact, two distinct forms of financial obligation and not mutually exclusive. Alimony was established to safeguard a supported spouse in the event of a divorce or separation. For example, a spouse who did not work during the course of the marriage would generally have a stronger alimony claim than a spouse who worked throughout the marriage. Likewise, a spouse who worked throughout the marriage but made less than the other spouse would have a stronger alimony claim than a spouse who worked and earned equivalent income to the supporting spouse.

In many cases, a spouse may choose to stay at home to tend to the children and manage the household. Oftentimes, the spouse who remains at home has sacrificed their career or education to care for the family. In such instances, a divorce could leave the financially weaker spouse in a state of financial turmoil. Without that support system, they will have to start over from scratch. These are some factors the Court will consider in evaluating an appropriate alimony case. Throughout your marriage, you have structured your quality of life based on a budget determined by your finances. While all expenses are shared by both partners, what happens if you have been financially dependent on your spouse and need to support yourself?

At Cobb, Dill, & Hammett, LLC, we aim to assist you in securing the alimony you need to support both yourself and your children. At the same time, we want to ensure that you are not overpaying your spouse, if you are the one required to pay. You may be required to pay an amount that could leave you in a difficult financial situation. Regardless, it's crucial to have the right legal representation to guide you through the alimony process in South Carolina.

The CDH Law Firm Approach to Alimonyin South Carolina

Some people may assume financial responsibilities to a former partner are end with the filing of a divorce decree. However, if the court has mandated alimony payments, then the financial obligations survive. Failure to meet those obligations can lead to serious legal and financial consequences. Family law attorneys at CHSA Law, LLC have years of experience representing clients throughout the divorce process, including alimony determinations.

Our legal services cover many aspects of alimony law, such as:

  • Negotiating Temporary and Final Alimony Payments
  • Modifying Alimony
  • Providing Advice on Reasonable Alimony
  • Filing to Collect Unpaid Alimony

Though our family law attorneys are fearless negotiators and litigators, we always strive to keep your legal proceedings as seamless and straightforward as possible. Our goal is to help reach an agreement on alimony that is reasonable for both you and your spouse. However, compromises aren't always possible. If needed, our lawyers will fight aggressively on your behalf to help ensure your financial rights are protected.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

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Law is complicate matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

Trust the Cobb, Dill, & Hammett Difference

Dealing with family law cases can be incredibly trying, particularly when it comes to matters of separation or divorce. As your family law attorney in Columbia, SC, we recognize the challenges you're facing. With that in mind, know that we're committed to offering empathetic legal counsel on your behalf, no matter how contentious or confusing your situation may become. Contact our law offices today for your initial family law consultation.

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Latest News in Columbia, SC

South Carolina championship celebrated with parade, rally

ReactionsLike202Fire5Celebrate3Wow1COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley and her national champion Gamecocks celebrated with a jam-packed downtown parade and rally at the statehouse a week after completing their undefeated season.Staley and her player...

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley and her national champion Gamecocks celebrated with a jam-packed downtown parade and rally at the statehouse a week after completing their undefeated season.

Staley and her players rode some seven blocks to the cheers of a crowd that Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann called the largest ever in the downtown area of the capital city. And then Staley teased a repeat celebration 12 months from now.

"I hope we can end our [next] season at the same time, in the same place on this beautiful day," Staley said. "Thank you so much for loving up on us. We truly appreciate it."

It would be difficult to bet against the Gamecocks, who were an inexperienced, untested group that lost seven seniors from the team that lost to Iowa Hawkeyes and Caitlin Clark in the 2023 Final Four.

Staley recalled to the crowd that, when asked about her young players and the new roles they would have to fill, she said to "expect the unexpected."

The Gamecocks exceeded almost everyone's expectations, finishing 38-0 to become the 10th undefeated national champion after beating the Hawkeyes 87-75 on April 7. It was Staley's third NCAA crown in the past seven tournaments.

University president Michael Amiridis said he loves talking up Staley and her program until the listeners tell him to stop.

"Some people call it a 'Dawn-asty,' some call it a 'dynasty.' I don't know the right word," he said. "But I know we're building an empire."

Staley singled out the lone player, as of now, not coming back in 6-foot-7 Final Four most outstanding player Kamilla Cardoso, who passed on a WNBA draft orientation session in New York City to take part in the parade.

"You all have made it a special time for here to take on to the next level," Staley said.

Cardoso, a key reserve on the 2022 national championship team, and Staley will both be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday, when Cardoso is expected to be among the top five selections.

Even without Cardoso, South Carolina should be a formidable team next season. Barring any surprise jumps into the transfer portal -- NC State star Saniya Rivers left the Gamecocks a few days after celebrating in the 2022 title parade -- players such as sophomores Ashlyn Watkins and Chloe Kitts and freshmen MiLaysia Fulwiley and Tessa Johnson should easily slide into larger roles.

The Gamecocks add the game's No. 2 college prospect in Joyce Edwards of Camden, South Carolina.

Staley is not afraid to bring in necessary players via the portal. One of the top 3-point shooters nationally this season in Te-Hina Paopao transferred in from Oregon last offseason.

Paopao, who will be back next year, used point guard Raven Johnson's words to set the bar high for 2025.

"It's time for the repeat tour," she said to wild cheers.

Whataburger breaks ground in Columbia; new Asian eatery ready to open in Five Points

COLUMBIA — Whataburger, the popular Texas-based burger chain, is one step closer to opening a location in the Capital City.The fast food chain's Killian Commons Parkway location, one of three planned for the Columbia area, broke ground on April 5. The restaurant is set to open in September. The area's other locations include one in Irmo and another in Lexington. The chain also plans to open up eateries in the...

COLUMBIAWhataburger, the popular Texas-based burger chain, is one step closer to opening a location in the Capital City.

The fast food chain's Killian Commons Parkway location, one of three planned for the Columbia area, broke ground on April 5. The restaurant is set to open in September.

The area's other locations include one in Irmo and another in Lexington. The chain also plans to open up eateries in the Upstate.

The burger chain, which started in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Tex., is set for 202 Bridgeberry Lane in Columbia.

Teriyaki Madness to open in Five Points

An Asian fusion chain has circled an opening date for its first Columbia location.

Teriyaki Madness, which is set for 942 Harden St. in Five Points, will open its doors April 12, according to a press release from the restaurant.

The Colorado-based chain has locations across 20 states and in 3 countries. Its Five Points location was first reported in September of last year.

The restaurant offers a variety of bowls, including chicken teriyaki bowls and spicy tofu teriyaki bowls, and sides like chicken eggrolls and crab rangoons, according to the website.

It will open alongside a strip of other popular chain businesses like Orangetheory Fitness, a boutique gym and Flying Biscuit Cafe, a Southern food brunch place.

Parlour 818, new hair salon, opens

A new luxury salon, Parlour 818, celebrated opening its doors on Millwood Avenue April 5.

The salon, which offers everything from hair cuts to hair extension applications, comes from Florence native Lex Moore.

"Parlour 818 was meant to feel like home, or like you were going to visit your best friend," Moore writes on her website.

The salon is located at 3306 Millwood Avenue and is open Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Other business news you might've missed:

For the second year in a row, and for only the second time in Columbia's history, two restaurateurs from here have been named finalists in the James Beard Foundation awards.

"What are those?" you might ask. Essentially, the James Beards are akin to the Oscars or a Pulitzer, but for folks in the food and dining industry. They recognize excellence from chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs all across the country with categories like Outstanding Restaurant and Best Chef for each region.

This year, Robbie Robinson, owner and pitmaster of City Limits BBQ in West Columbia, is nominated for Best Chef: Southeast. This is Robinson's first nomination and it comes after he moved his longtime food truck to a brick and mortar location last year.

Lula Drake Wine Parlour, a wine bar and restaurant on Main Street in Columbia, is nominated for a second year in a row. This year, the bar is nominated in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program category. Last year, it was nominated for Outstanding Hospitality.

Columbia had two of the state's four nominations in the national awards. You can read more in-depth coverage of that news here.

In other restaurant news, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered more than a quarter of a million dollars from owners of Krafty Draft Brew Pub for around two dozen employees who the federal agency said were not compensated fairly. The Lexington restaurant's owners were found to be operating an invalid tip pool and using tips to cover most of the servers' salaries.

Lastly, if you're headed to the airport soon, be prepared to pay a little more for parking. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport announced it would up surface level parking from $10 to $12 a day and garage parking from $14 to $17 a day.

Columbia has a new $90K city logo. What do you think of it?

Columbia has a new, blue logo, and you can buy it on T-shirts at the city’s gift-shop.Columbia leaders Tuesday unveiled a roughly $90,000 city rebranding project that included a new logo of a blue crescent moon shaded in the same color palette as the city’s flag, with the tagline “Together, we are Columbia.”But don’t be confused — this new logo and tagline are separate from the Experience Columbia tourism bureau’s tagline and logo for the city and the half dozen other iterations of the ...

Columbia has a new, blue logo, and you can buy it on T-shirts at the city’s gift-shop.

Columbia leaders Tuesday unveiled a roughly $90,000 city rebranding project that included a new logo of a blue crescent moon shaded in the same color palette as the city’s flag, with the tagline “Together, we are Columbia.”

But don’t be confused — this new logo and tagline are separate from the Experience Columbia tourism bureau’s tagline and logo for the city and the half dozen other iterations of the city’s marketing efforts in recent years.

This newest campaign by the city is separate from Experience Columbia’s efforts to dub the city “The Real Southern Hotspot,” a tourism marketing campaign that was unveiled in 2017 after $150,000 of work.

Before that, the city was “Famously hot (surprisingly cool),“ which was launched by the visitor’s bureau for about $70,000.

And in 2004, the city’s slogan went from “Columbia, a Capital place to be,” to “Where friendliness flows,” after a different $70,000 campaign from the same firm that coined “Virginia is for Lovers.” But all of those efforts were done by the Midland’s tourism bureau, and not the city government.

The city paid Greenville-based Crawford Agency roughly $93,000 between November and February for the work on the city’s new campaign.

Experience Columbia and the city government are separate entities and pay for projects with separate funds, but Experience Columbia does get some city money from accommodations taxes. Despite the two being separate entities, City Councilwoman Aditi Bussells said she hopes to see more brand cohesion across the city and its various municipal-adjacent agencies.

She also said she might push for another slogan reconsideration — she loved “Famously Hot” — as part of her campaign to overhaul how the city sells itself and sees itself.

“I think one of the biggest reasons why we’ve seen a deterrent to some of the kind of growth of people wanting to come here, stay here, live here, play here has been our own sense of pride,” Bussells said.

When Bussells first moved to the city, she said she heard so many times how the best thing about Columbia is that it’s easy to leave — “just two hours from the mountains or the beach!”

She said getting all of the city departments and, hopefully, other agencies on the same page about aesthetics is the next step in boosting city morale and communicating to outsiders that Columbia has itself together.

Experience Columbia did not make a representative available for an interview, but in an email, communications Vice President Kelly Barbrey wrote, “We work closely with the City to share our concepts and assets and look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as they launch their new brand.”

“One of the things I’ve asked the Mayor, and that we have been working on (is) there are too many fiefdoms in Columbia,” Bussells said. “That’s a culture that I would like to see change, where everybody has just always done their own things.”

This story was originally published April 17, 2024, 9:21 AM.

Follow more of our reporting on Uniquely Columbia

See all 9 stories

Garden and plant shops in Columbia, SC to visit this spring

The first day of spring is just a week away and pending anymore out-of-season, late frost situations, we will all be spending more time outdoors.That means it’s the prime time for pollen, bees, and getting your garden started. If you don’t have a green thumb, then maybe you can get your front yard looking fresh, green, and and ready for spring with new plants.With the soil warming up, we figured now would be a good time to dig in, especially since the Capital City has a variety of locally owned shops to check...

The first day of spring is just a week away and pending anymore out-of-season, late frost situations, we will all be spending more time outdoors.

That means it’s the prime time for pollen, bees, and getting your garden started. If you don’t have a green thumb, then maybe you can get your front yard looking fresh, green, and and ready for spring with new plants.

With the soil warming up, we figured now would be a good time to dig in, especially since the Capital City has a variety of locally owned shops to check out and several plant-centric events on the horizon.

Columbia Garden Club Spring Plant Exchange | Saturday, March 16 | Held in the Talbot’s parking lot at 4809 Forest Dr., donations will be accepted 9:15 a.m.- 9:45 a.m., followed by the exchange beginning at 10 a.m. sharp.

Garden Design with Bill Guess | Thursday, March 21 | Register to attend this event where the B.B. Barns garden coach presents several formulas for botanical combinations.

Boone Fox Farm BFF Spring Plant Sale | Saturday | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | City Roots, 1005 Airport Blvd., Columbia | Includes a farm tour at 10 a.m. and noon.

Lexington Herb Bunch Festival | Saturday, April 6 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox St., Lexington | Supports agricultural student scholarships.

Historic Columbia’s Spring Plant Sale | April 11, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (HC members only), April 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Hampton-Preston Mansion, 1615 Blanding St., Columbia | One of two plant sales Historic Columbia holds every year, attendees can purchase plants propagated from the Living Collections across all of the historic sites.

Midlands Plant & Flower Festival | April 11-14 | Thursday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | SC State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy., West Columbia | Offers a wide selection of plants and garden arts.

Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale | Saturday, April 13 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | The plant sale focuses on blooming perennials, grasses, and our favorite smaller blooming shrubs and trees.

Richland County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale | Thursday, April 18 + Friday, April 19 | 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Master Gardeners will assist with garden and plant selections.

Riverbanks Zoo Spring Plant Sale (Members only) | Saturday, April 20 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Riverbanks Growing Center, 1201 Seminole Dr., West Columbia | Features a variety of annuals, perennials, trees, and special collections.

The top industries and employers in the Columbia metro area

More than 460,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Columbia metro area’s $54 million economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?Consider this Columbia Business 101 — your guide to our region&r...

More than 460,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Columbia metro area’s $54 million economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this Columbia Business 101 — your guide to our region’s five key industries and major employers.

Note: When we say Columbia metro area, that refers to the Central SC Region that includes Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Richland counties.

The key industries

Five key industries represent ~55% of the Columbia metro area’s economy, based on data from Central SC. We’ve listed them in order of employment numbers.

Fun fact: Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC offering insurance services, contact center, claims processing... etc. employs over 10,000 people alone and is the top private employer in the region.

Prisma Health Midlands + Lexington Medical Center together employ over 21,000 individuals. The services in these industries are delivered by trained professionals and include establishments providing medical care, health care, and social assistance.

Under that retail bracket of employers, Wal-mart came out on top, employing almost 6,000 people. Amazon followed, employing over 2,600, and Samsung + UPS, both employing 1200-1350 people.

Manufacturing in the Midlands comes in many different forms, but at the top of the list are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Michelin, Trane, which makes metal products + machinery, and Samsung. Local players such as Kraft Heinz, and Westinghouse Electric Company, also carry a significant employment presence.

Fun fact: According to the latest tourism data from Experience Columbia, visitation increased from 15.1 million in 2021 to 15.8 million in 2022, and visitor spending increased 12% over the previous year to $1.7 billion.

Of the $1.7 billion spent in Columbia, food + beverage spending accounted for $487 million — that’s 29% of each visitor’s budget.

The economic impact of tourism on our region is substantial and the total economic impact in 2022 sustained over 22,300 jobs and generated $130 million in state and local tax revenues.

The top food and beverage employers in the Midlands region are Dak Americans LLC, a company that creates plastic materials and resins, Mark Anthony Brewing, a brewer and producer of hard seltzers, and Devro Inc., a company that creates edible casings for meat packaging.

The Public Administration sector consists of establishments of federal, state, and local government agencies that oversee and manage public programs. In total, the state of SC employs over 30,000 in the Midlands, the top two being the SC Department of Corrections and the SC Department of Social Services.

Now that we’ve established the major industries, we bet you’re curious about some specific names. Whether you’re job hunting (or just “casually prospecting”), here are five major employers — all that employ more than 5,000 workers on average.

32,085 employees | Public sector | Search jobs

With Cola being the capital of South Carolina, the city’s largest employer is the state — which helps drive tourism, the economy, business, and local government agencies.

15,000 employees | Healthcare | Search jobs

In 2017, Greenville Health + Palmetto Health merged to become Prisma — and became the second-largest employer in Richland County and one of the largest healthcare providers in the region.

10,998 employees | Insurance services | Search jobs

BCBSSC is the only SC-owned + operated health insurance carrier in the state and has a family of companies and affiliates also offering services to South Carolinians.

6,557 employees | Healthcare | Search jobs

The hospital in West Columbia delivers more than 4,000 babies each year and performs more than 25,000 surgeries. It was also named the No. 2 hospital in SC and is recognized as the No. 1 hospital in the Midlands, according to U.S. News and World Report.

6,456 employees | Educational services | Search jobs

The over 200-year-old university is the largest in South Carolina and has been ranked as the nation’s number one first-year student experience. The university also boasts the country’s number-one ranking for international business via the Darla Moore School of Business. With its campus spread throughout the city, USC is the heartbeat of Columbia.

2023 was a year of record achievements for economic growth in Richland County. The Richland County Economic Development Office (RCEDO) announced capital investments have surged to $2.35 billion, and with them, 4,532 new job opportunities have become available.

Scout Motors | Automotive |~4,000 jobs | Volkswagon is entering the electric off-road vehicle arena under the Scout Motors nameplate and building those cars at a new facility coming to Blythewood.

Cirba Solutions | Energy | ~300 jobs | Cirba Solutions — an electric vehicle battery materials facility — is investing $323 million to establish operations in Richland County. The new state-of-the-art, world-class lithium-ion battery recycling + materials facility will be ~400,000 sqft and located at Pineview Industrial Park, which is less than 1.5 miles from I-77 via Shop Road and home to Mark Anthony Brewing.

FN America, LLC | Manufacturing | ~100 jobs | The United States subsidiary of global firearms manufacturer, FN Herstal plans to expand its Richland County operations. The company’s $18 million investment will create approximately 102 new jobs.

Blanchard Machinery Company | Construction | ~30 jobs | The construction equipment supplier is opening new operations in Calhoun County. The company’s $46 million investment will create 30 new jobs and transfer 150 existing jobs from its Lexington County operations to the new facility.

Cooperative Electric Energy Utility Supply, Inc. | Utility, Energy | ~100 jobs | A consumer-owned electric materials supplier plans to expand operations in Lexington County, making a $52 Million investment.

Xerxes | Manufacturing | ~80 jobs | Xerxes is planning to establish its first SC Operations in Richland County by leasing a new production facility that will expand the company’s capability to deliver market-leading underground fuel and water storage tanks.

Mark Anthony Brewing | Fourth largest brewer in the US |~300 jobs | The Mark Anthony Brewing is a supply chain management company that invested $400 million in a new facility that created 300 new jobs to increase production of White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade on Shop Road in Columbia.

This information is derived from the most recent data published by Central SC.

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