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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 Johns Island, 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 Johns Island, 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 Johns Island, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney Johns Island, SC
Family Law Attorney Johns Island, 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 Johns Island, SC

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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 Johns Island, 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 Johns Island, SC

Vandalism causes 60-gallon diesel spill on Johns Island: Charleston Water System

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Clean-up efforts are underway after vandalism resulted in a 60-gallon diesel fuel spill on Johns Island, officials with Charleston Water System said Monday.The diesel fuel spilled into a stormwater ditch behind homes along Colonel Harrison Drive that leads to the Stono River. Residents initially discovered and smelled the fuel spill over the weekend. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was called on Sunday to help with the spill.Read more: ...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Clean-up efforts are underway after vandalism resulted in a 60-gallon diesel fuel spill on Johns Island, officials with Charleston Water System said Monday.

The diesel fuel spilled into a stormwater ditch behind homes along Colonel Harrison Drive that leads to the Stono River. Residents initially discovered and smelled the fuel spill over the weekend. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was called on Sunday to help with the spill.

Read more: "Successful oil spill cleanup in Charleston by Coast Guard, no marine life threats."

“Our contractor cleaned up a portion of the spill, immediately called in a professional environmental remediation company, and notified SC DHEC and the EPA’s National Response Center,” said Mike Saia, Charleston Water System's public information administrator. “It may take several days for them to recapture all remnants of the fuel.”

This is the third instance of vandalism to contractor equipment in recent weeks, and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

“I mean it is a very, in depth vandalism. It's not just a rock through the window. It’s someone who came out here to destroy this 200-something thousand-dollar machine,” said Chad Hunter, owner of Hunter Landworx Construction, the contractor onsite.

Hunter showed up to his Johns Island job site Monday expecting to quickly finish a project he’s been working on since October. Instead, he found his machinery completely vandalized.

“There are wires in there, cut and hidden like that. We wouldn't be able to find it if we didn't see that all the fuel around it, my guys would've gotten in the machine. He put rocks and all in our engine to try to blow the engine up,” Hunter said.

But the damage doesn’t stop there.

Read more: "Suspicion arises over two Colleton County mobile home fires in three days."

The vandalism led to a 60-gallon diesel fuel spill into the surrounding area along the Stono River. Charleston Water System owns the construction project, and its staff says they’ve never seen damage this bad.

“We don't see a lot of vandalism. If we do, it's very, very minor, and easy to repair. But this is a different situation because not only did the person damage the equipment related to the job, but they've also damaged the environment,” Saia said.

Saia said they were able to soak up as much of the liquid fuel as possible and the Coast Guard confirmed to CWS that the spill didn't reach the river.

Now, Hunter must pick up the pieces.

He said the damage to his machine alone will cost a few hundred thousand dollars and his crews are now behind on all their current projects.

“We're out here to clean up somebody's mess as well as take time from our family and slow down the project. I mean, it's hurting everybody, the neighborhood, everything around us is just getting messed up from one person,” Hunter said.

“One hour's worth of work is causing weeks of fix-up.”

News 4 has reached out to CCSO for more information.

$277M hospital proposed for Johns Island

Trident Medical Center has submitted a Certificate of Need to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to build a $277 million hospital on Johns Island. The application is for a 50-bed acute care hospital between Maybank Highway and Cane Slash Road, across from the Live Oak Square development.Projections for Johns Island Hospital show that within the first three years it will create nearly 300 jobs, contribute $10 million in non-income taxes to support the community and pay $70 million in salaries, wages and b...

Trident Medical Center has submitted a Certificate of Need to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to build a $277 million hospital on Johns Island. The application is for a 50-bed acute care hospital between Maybank Highway and Cane Slash Road, across from the Live Oak Square development.

Projections for Johns Island Hospital show that within the first three years it will create nearly 300 jobs, contribute $10 million in non-income taxes to support the community and pay $70 million in salaries, wages and benefits, the organization said in a release.

“We are excited to continue making medical care more accessible to residents in our historically underserved communities,” Trident Health President and CEO Christina Oh said in the news release. “Currently on Johns Island and neighboring communities, it can take residents 30 to 45 minutes to drive to their nearest hospital, and often longer in heavy traffic and inclement weather. Our goal is to increase access to timely, high quality and affordable health care services.”

Trident Medical Center’s chief of the medical staff and medical director of emergency services, Dr. Scott Hayes, said he sees firsthand the results of delayed care.

“For residents who live far from emergency medical care and who may be experiencing a medical emergency like a heart attack or a stroke, minutes can mean the difference between life and death,” he said in the news release. “Access to care close to home is critical, especially in areas like Johns Island and the surrounding communities, that have frequent traffic delays.”

Trident Health surgeon Dr. Thomas Litton, who lived on Johns Island for 20 years and recently moved from there largely due to increasing traffic congestion and limited access routes off the island, said, “The rapid population growth and development of Johns Island, as well as its role as the sole gateway to Kiawah, Seabrook and Wadmalaw Islands, has created a strong need for a full-service hospital in the area. Residents on those islands have never had a full-service hospital. Trident’s hospital on Johns Island and their freestanding ER on James Island will greatly improve residents’ access to much-needed medical care.”

Johns Island Hospital will be located seven miles from James Island Emergency, Trident’s new freestanding ER at 945 Folly Road, Charleston, that will open in the next few weeks.

Plans call for Johns Island Hospital to have 50 beds with space to expand to 150 beds, 40 medical/surgical/stepdown beds, 10 ICU beds, 20 ER rooms, four operating rooms, two endoscopy suites and a cardiac catheterization lab. The hospital also would have two CT scanners, an MRI, two diagnostic radiology suites and a fluoroscopy room.

In addition to the hospital, services would include medical offices for primary care and specialists as well as outpatient imaging and support such as breast imaging, rehabilitation and other outpatient therapy services.

“From our first discussions about building a hospital on Johns Island, we have been committed to creating a thoughtful plan that preserves the natural beauty of Johns Island,” Oh said in the release. “We will honor the strong Gullah Geechee cultures of the community; we will partner with the areas’ community and businesses; and will promote the important and unique contributions of Johns Island’s agricultural community.”

The proposed Johns Island Hospital is in addition to nearly $140M in capital investments currently underway at Trident Health’s hospitals, Trident Medical Center and Summerville

Charleston city councilman looking at ways to alleviate traffic on Johns Island

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Balancing development and existing infrastructure is an issue Charleston County and city leaders are facing.Ask any John's Island residents their main complaint and they will likely tell you traffic.Charleston city councilman for District 3, Jim McBride, is brainstorming ways to alleviate the stop-and-go drive on and off the island.On Maybank Highway, two lanes are coming onto Johns Island and only one going off towards James Island.Read more:...

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — Balancing development and existing infrastructure is an issue Charleston County and city leaders are facing.

Ask any John's Island residents their main complaint and they will likely tell you traffic.

Charleston city councilman for District 3, Jim McBride, is brainstorming ways to alleviate the stop-and-go drive on and off the island.

On Maybank Highway, two lanes are coming onto Johns Island and only one going off towards James Island.

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Councilman McBride said it's a bottleneck and taxpayers are sitting in traffic, wasting time and money.

There are three projects in the works.

McBride said the first project that will alleviate this problem is the Northern Pitchfork, which is expected to be finished in March.

It will allow motorists to take a right coming onto the island at the fairly new stoplight near Fenwick Hall Allee and take them to River Road, meaning no one has to sit on Maybank.

Read more: "'Whatever you do, do your best' SC native helps design Super Bowl half time show outfits."

The second project is restriping Maybank Highway near the intersection of River Road.

Right now, there are short turn lanes and McBride said cars get backed up, slowing traffic coming onto the island.

He said after the striping, there will be a left turn lane only. The middle lane will be three lanes and a new right turn lane will be added.

The third planned project is the nearly $30 million Southern Pitchfork, creating a possible left turn when you come onto Johns Island.

Read more: "Thieves steal 12 French bulldog puppies worth $32k from North Charleston home: NCPD report."

The traffic light for the Northern Pitchfork would potentially be moved and realigned with the entrance to the Southern Pitchfork closer to the bridge.

"If that gets funded, and if that happens, the estimated completion time would be somewhere somewhere around 2028," McBride said. "I don't want to wait for four years and no one on the island wants to wait for four years. So, we're trying to come up with some ideas to improve things before that."

McBride said these projects will allow traffic to flow better coming onto the island, but there is nothing funded now to help people get off the island.

"Every single morning taxpayers are sitting in traffic wasting money wasting time," McBride said. "And it's a problem that needs to get fixed."

Read more: "2 awarded Citizen Lifesaving Awards for helping Mt. Pleasant officer struck by vehicle."

One idea McBride is researching is reversible lanes.

With reversible lanes, the middle lane would switch directions in the evening, potentially alleviating traffic.

"In the morning you have two lanes going off the island, and then in the evening, you'd have two lanes coming on the island," McBride said.

McBride said it would require large signaling and possibly entry gates to make it very clear which direction people would drive.

"In 2019, the county did a study on this idea, and they determined that it would improve traffic going off the island in the morning by 66%. That's a huge improvement," McBride said.

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McBride said the county recommended they could not do reversible lanes because currently there are too many stop lights too close together.

He said if the Northern Pitchfork is realigned with the future Southern Pitchfork, there would be one intersection closer to the bridge which would create a more continuous stretch of road, potentially allowing this idea to work.

McBride said the reversible lane idea would cost about $5 million.

"In comparison, the Southern Pitchfork is estimated to be about $30 million. So, $5 million is a lot of money, but it will save taxpayers so much money over time and save time. Instead of sitting in traffic you know, wasting time and gas money," McBride said.

Read more: "Joint Commission to boost North Charleston education holds inaugural meeting."

This is just one idea McBride is researching.

He said he is working alongside Mayor William Cogswell, city staff, and county council members Jenny Honeycutt and Joe Boykin to find a solution for Johns Island traffic.

River Road and Maybank Highway are state-owned, meaning they are managed and funded by the county.

McBride said this requires collaboration between the city and county.

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This November, the county will vote on a 2024 Half Cent Sales Tax Referendum to potentially replace an old sales tax set to expire in the next 2 years.

McBride said it would raise an estimated $5.4 billion.

He said $2 billion would help fund the Mark Clark Expressway, and the other $3.4 billion would help fund the County Infrastructure Improvement Projects.

Johns Island woman receives keys to new home from Habitat for Humanity

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman neighbors describe as a staple of the community has a new home thanks to a group of volunteers.Sea Island Habitat for Humanity celebrated another closing on Johns Island Friday, handing over the keys for the second house they completed this year to Clareatha Matthews.Matthews says she has been waiting for this day to come. She previously lived in a trailer right behind her new home for almost 40 years. On average, trailers are only supposed to last 10 to 15 years.Matthews is an active ...

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman neighbors describe as a staple of the community has a new home thanks to a group of volunteers.

Sea Island Habitat for Humanity celebrated another closing on Johns Island Friday, handing over the keys for the second house they completed this year to Clareatha Matthews.

Matthews says she has been waiting for this day to come. She previously lived in a trailer right behind her new home for almost 40 years. On average, trailers are only supposed to last 10 to 15 years.

Matthews is an active member of the community and has been a resident of John’s Island since 1989. She is involved in multiple Bible studies and has worked at the John’s Island Subway for 20 years now.

“Oh my god today means so much to me. I have been blessed and truly blessed for this day. I have been waiting for this day,” Matthews says.

The project to build her home began in September. When a new homeowner is picked, they are required to work a certain amount of “sweat equity” hours by working with volunteers to help build their own home. Matthews was required to work 300 and volunteers say she continued to come out and work on her house even when her required hours were completed.

“She is just a staple. She is a very active part of this community, and she was also very involved in her habitat sweat equity hours. Continuing to come out and help work on her house even after she finished her hours,” Construction site supervisor Kali Tanguay says.

She also said that they have seen some new homeowners in the past fall short on their hours or not want to commit, but that Matthews went above and beyond.

Her friends and family came out to celebrate and help Matthews move in. Her daughters said their mother worked three jobs when they were growing up and that she never complained. They said that she deserved this greatly.

“We owe our entire life to Habitat for Humanity. It’s very special because my mom is such a dependable, hardworking, and deserving lady and it’s good to see her just totally happy,” Matthew’s daughter, Veronica Huggins, says.

Sea Island Habitat for Humanity completes an average of five to six houses per year and they are hoping to see that number continue to grow.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Charleston leaders plan $30M project to improve Johns Island traffic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the city of Charleston and Charleston County have announced a plan to address traffic concerns on Johns Island.Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the plan is the result of collaboration between the city of Charleston and Charleston County and will tackle traffic flow problems at the intersection of Maybank Highway and River Road, portions of Maybank Highway and the northern and southern Pitchforks, Tecklenburg said.“Traffic congestion has been a huge issue coming and going on J...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the city of Charleston and Charleston County have announced a plan to address traffic concerns on Johns Island.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the plan is the result of collaboration between the city of Charleston and Charleston County and will tackle traffic flow problems at the intersection of Maybank Highway and River Road, portions of Maybank Highway and the northern and southern Pitchforks, Tecklenburg said.

“Traffic congestion has been a huge issue coming and going on Johns Island,” he said. “And it was accentuated when that traffic light got added down the street. And everyone came to the realization that we needed to go back and rethink what got done six or seven years ago, what’s been done since then and what can we do collectively and collaboratively to make it better and make improvements.”

The city and county laid out the main points of the plan:

“Pitchforks” means two new roads that will branch off of Maybank towards River.

“The current cost estimate sits somewhere between $25 and $30 million to do all of this,” Charleston County Councilmember Joe Boykin said.

Tecklenburg said the money will come from future sales tax and Department of Transportation funding and once permitted, will apply for federal funding.

The full construction funding will have to be identified and approved by both city and county councils, according to Tecklenburg.

The first goal for short-term, interim improvements to Maybank Highway are expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2024, Tecklenburg said.

Robby Lingenfelter who works on Johns Island said he’s hopeful about the project but still frustrated.

“They say that the northern pitchfork will be completed by the first quarter of 2024, that’s good,” he said. “Southern pitchfork they said will take years, so we’re still five to ten years from alleviating the issues we have now.”

He said the city and county have been meeting since June to address the traffic issues on Johns Island.

“It’s going to happen. We are committed to making that happen,” Tecklenburg said.

Some locals question the mayor’s timing.

“Hearing this press conference that is happening five days before an election, can’t help but notice that a lot of this was conceptual and funding for a lot of this isn’t even secured,” Logan Mcvey said. “So, this seems like more talk and a lot more traffic just sitting and waiting on stuff to happen.”

Tecklenburg’s response was that they needed enough vetting through engineers and design teams before the plans could be presented.

Charleston County Council member Jenny Huneycutt, Charleston City Council member Karl Brady and the city’s planning and traffic directors also attended the news conference.

WATCH THE CHARLESTON LEADERS ANNOUNCE THE JOHNS ISLAND TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENT PLAN BELOW

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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