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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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, SC, can answer those questions and make alimony easier to understand and approach.

 Family Support Attorney West Ashley, SC
Family Law Attorney West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, 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 West Ashley, SC

7 Stellar Selections for Chinese in Charleston

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.Look here for our top picks. Read MoreEater maps are curated ...

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.

Look here for our top picks.

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

West Ashley offers a change of pace from busy downtown

West Ashley, the area across the Ashley River from peninsular Charleston, offers a change of pace from some of downtown’s more tourist-centric areas of town. Home to more than 40 percent of the city’s population, the area boasts parks, restaurants, breweries and shopping catered to locals.ExploreKnown to some as the “birthplace of South Carolina,” West Ashley is home to the well-preserved colonial village, Ch...

West Ashley, the area across the Ashley River from peninsular Charleston, offers a change of pace from some of downtown’s more tourist-centric areas of town. Home to more than 40 percent of the city’s population, the area boasts parks, restaurants, breweries and shopping catered to locals.

Explore

Known to some as the “birthplace of South Carolina,” West Ashley is home to the well-preserved colonial village, Charlestowne Landing. The 184-acre state park off of Old Towne Road offers an opportunity to explore both the city and the state’s modern origins. With walking trails, marsh views and a small zoo, the state park is a site visitors and locals alike can visit multiple times for different experiences.

For the active set, West Ashley is home to Shadowmoss Golf & Country Club and bowling alley Ashley Lanes. Get practice on your swing at Charleston Golf, a combined golf simulator and bar.

Get a breath of fresh air on the 7.8 mile West Ashley Greenway which starts at U.S. Highway 17 and Wappoo Road and ends at Higgins Pier where anglers can cast a line. There’s another opportunity to fish off of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard at Northbridge Park.

For a different scenic walk, meander via boardwalk through marshes and coastal forest at the Stono River County Park in outer West Ashley.

Shopping

Unlike other areas of the city, West Ashley is home to some large-scale retail spaces that make it an ideal place for furniture stores and other specialty shops.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Inspired by his life’s work and to celebrate his legacy, this week’s topic is justice.

The winner is Robert Peterson with the photo of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Washington, D.C. The honorable mentions are Ken Schaub with a snapshot of the former federal prison known as Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, and Randy Cochran with an image of a quote at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library at the University of Texas.

Next week’s topic is cold, as we deal with our first serious cold snap of the winter.

The rules: Send your best photo to yourphotos@postandcourier.com by noon Thursday. Include your name, town and where the photo was taken. Add your name and the topic to the file. If you want your photo to be eligible to run in the newspaper, it must be at least 1,500 pixels, not have a commercial watermark and not have been published in another publication.

On Fridays, we first announce the editors’ pick of the week at postandcourier.com/yourphotos and declare a topic for the next week. On Saturdays, we publish an online gallery.

On Sunday, the photo pick of the week will appear in this section, Life.

All photos submitted will be considered for publication in The Post and Courier’s yearly magazine, My Charleston. Some images may be selected for other editorial or noncommercial use.

We reserve the right to not publish any photo for any reason.

City leaders move forward with plans to redevelop West Ashley shopping center

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Charleston city leaders are moving forward with plans to redevelop a shopping center on Sam Rittenburg Boulevard in West Ashley.The City of Charleston’s Design Review Board gave conceptual approval on Monday to a new Publix grocery store and retail space that will be built in the Ashley Landing Mall shopping center where a Publix currently sits.The existing Publix is located closer to Sumar Street and was built in the 90s. The new plans are to move the grocery store to the opposite side of ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Charleston city leaders are moving forward with plans to redevelop a shopping center on Sam Rittenburg Boulevard in West Ashley.

The City of Charleston’s Design Review Board gave conceptual approval on Monday to a new Publix grocery store and retail space that will be built in the Ashley Landing Mall shopping center where a Publix currently sits.

The existing Publix is located closer to Sumar Street and was built in the 90s. The new plans are to move the grocery store to the opposite side of the property closer to Charlestowne Drive and add new retail and restaurant space next door.

There is currently a 130,000-square-foot building in that spot, which includes businesses like Dollar Tree and Big Lots inside. The Design Review Board also moved forward with the approval of a partial demolition of the shopping center, which includes these businesses. Robert Summerfield, the city’s Director of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, said the leases for the businesses were not renewed in preparation for the redevelopment of the area.

Summerfield added that the plans to revamp the shopping center are in line with the city’s goals to revitalize parts of West Ashley.

“This is right in line with the ideas for the plan, it keeps a major shopping experience with the grocery store right there — keeps it anchored in the community and in that shopping center for those neighborhoods in that area,” he explained.

However, Suzanne Germroth, who lives in Charleston, said she is concerned about the neighborhood losing the businesses currently there because of the project.

“A lot of people rely on these discount stores to maintain their livelihood and what they can afford,” she said. “And I don’t understand why this perfectly wonderful building here has to move across the street.”

Summerfield said the current Publix will stay open until the new one is complete, and the plans for what will happen with the existing Publix building have not been decided.

“Publix has actually done this in a number of places in the markets that they work in. You know they’ll close the store one night in its current space and they’ll open the next morning in the new space,” he said. “In the old space, that again will be I believe in phase two of their development plan.”

This was the first time the conceptual plans for the project went in front of the Design Review Board. The next step for the project will be a preliminary review.

Charleston inks construction contract for West Ashley pedestrian bridge

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent ...

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.

It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.

As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent cost projections were insufficient.

That’s when the estimate ballooned from $42 million about a year ago to about $74 million today. As a result, city officials had to secure more funding from county, state and federal agencies. In addition to dipping into the city’s hospitality tax funds, the Medical University of South Carolina chipped in too.

In total, the city’s contribution to the project via hospitality tax funds stands at $13 million.

Construction bidders attributed the higher-than-expected cost projections to rising interest rates, as well as increased labor and material costs. The winning bid came in at $73.8 million.

City leaders had considered scaling the project back when the new estimates were calculated but Councilman Mike Seekings said South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall was determined to find additional help from all levels of government to bring the project across the finish line.

“Secretary Hall put her money where her mouth is,” he said.

With Hall’s help securing an additional $30 million committed from various agencies, the city was able to move forward with a contract with civil contractor, Superior Construction.

NORTH CHARLESTON — To continue efforts to become the Coast Guard’s “operational center of gravity” on the East Coast, officials broke ground Jan. 26 on its new $160 million campus.

This 64-acre site along the Cooper River — just south of the former naval base that closed in 1996 — will house an administration building and redesigned 1,100-foot concrete pier.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed in 2026.

“This Charleston campus will have improved infrastructure that translates into more productive personnel and more efficient operations,” said Capt. Neal Armstrong, the commanding officer of facilities design and construction.

The 51,500-square-foot administration building will provide training and conference room space, and additional rooms dedicated to cutter ship support.

Sustainability is a priority, so the new facility will achieve net-zero energy usage and a net-zero carbon footprint, Armstrong said.

The current Pier November will be replaced with a pier more than three feet taller to enhance durability during coastal storms. It will provide utilities to support five national security cutters and a 90-ton crane, which is critical for dockside maintenance, Armstrong said.

During the design and construction phases nearly 60 subcontractors will support the two main contractors on the project, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and RQ Construction LLC, providing work for nearly 900 people.

Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Linda Fagan, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, said every Coast Guard mission begins and ends at a shore facility. When the ships are not at sea, they need a base that can provide necessary maintenance, she added.

The missions conducted at Base Charleston are vital to protecting national security and economic prosperity, Fagan said, adding that the new campus will aid in “lifesaving work,” including patrolling the waters for smuggled narcotics.

Developer hosts meeting to address Essex Farm community concerns

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents who live near one West Ashley development learned more about the future of their community during a meeting hosted by developers.Cameron Property Company, the company overseeing the development of 26 acres near the Essex Farms community, invited residents to share their concerns and provide input at a meeting Thursday night.The 26-acre lot runs from Essex Farms Drive, down Skye Drive and extends to Dorothy Drive.Developers were accompanied by Charleston city officials representing the ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Residents who live near one West Ashley development learned more about the future of their community during a meeting hosted by developers.

Cameron Property Company, the company overseeing the development of 26 acres near the Essex Farms community, invited residents to share their concerns and provide input at a meeting Thursday night.

The 26-acre lot runs from Essex Farms Drive, down Skye Drive and extends to Dorothy Drive.

Developers were accompanied by Charleston city officials representing the council, planning department, and traffic department to discuss what potential businesses residents could expect to see.

During the meeting, community members said they were relieved to learn that the developer withdrew its request to change the zoning language to include drive-thru windows at restaurants.

The developer is in talks with a grocery store and gas station, but plans have not been finalized.

Some residents said they are less than pleased about the big changes coming to the Essex Farms community.

Residents also expressed concerns about traffic congestion and the potential for a gas station to be built on the property.

“Tonight’s the first time we’ve heard gas station. That was a shock for all of us. When we purchased our properties, we were told specifically that a gas station wasn’t allowed to be there,” resident Kellie Kinard said.

Development Manager Collins Moe said he wants community input but that the company has the right to build to the zoning order, which does allow a grocery store and gas station.

“We’re going through the appropriate city of Charleston permit steps which require traffic studies. Things that outline what we’re proposing to make sure they meet all the standards with the county, the state, and the city, more importantly, based on where this property lies. At the end of the day, we’re still very far out,” Moe said.

Kinard said she is disappointed and was left with even more concerns and questions.

“I think my husband and I are going to have a serious conversation about whether or not we’re going to list our home. Which is really unfortunate because we love our neighborhood. We have great neighbors, but we do not want this type of development that they’re talking about potentially literally within several feet of our driveway,” Kinard said.

City officials stated that this development was approved many years ago and the zoning goes back to 1997.

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