As a full-service family law practice in Indian Land, Harden Law provides caring and professional legal representation to individuals and families. In addition to handling divorce and issues of child custody and support, we offer the following services to provide our clients with the legal guidance and support they need during this transitional time.
Indian Land Annulment
If you want to file for an annulment in Indian Land, you’ll need to file a Complaint for Annulment. Once you serve your spouse, the court will hold a hearing where you’ll have to prove grounds for annulment. Our expert family law attorneys can help you prepare your case.
Once an annulment is granted, it means the marriage never existed, and both spouses can say that they were never legally married to each other. However, a judge can still decide how property will be divided in addition to child custody and alimony.
You can still file for an annulment if you and your spouse have children, and those children are considered legitimate as long as at least one parent entered into the marriage not knowing the marriage should be invalid. Your children have the right to be supported by both you and your spouse regardless of the invalid status of the marriage.
South Carolina grants annulments of marriage under specific circumstances. One of the following factors must be present in order for a judge to consider annulment:
- Duress. If you were pressured into getting married or forced into the union, you may qualify for an annulment.
- Bigamy. If your spouse is already married when they marry you, your marriage is considered invalid unless your spouse’s former spouse has been missing for five or more years without any proof that they are still living.
- Incest. If you find out you and your spouse are related closer than first cousins, a judge will likely annul the marriage.
- Fraud. When one spouse lies to another about something essential to the marriage, such as insanity, impotence, or sterility, you may have grounds for an annulment.
- Underage. When one or both parties are under the age of 16, the marriage may be annulled.
- Mental incompetence. If one spouse was not mentally capable enough to consent to the marriage, the judge will consider the marriage for annulment.
- No cohabitation. If you and your spouse never lived together, you could qualify for an annulment.
Our attorneys can assist with your annulment case and help you determine if you have grounds to have your marriage voided in South Carolina.
Help for Domestic Violence in Indian Land
At Harden Law, we understand how complex and sensitive it can be to end a marriage in which you or your children suffered domestic violence. Rest assured, we’re here to help.
Domestic violence in South Carolina is defined as when a family member or other household member either threatens to physically harm you, does physically harm or assault you, or commits a sexual crime against you, including rape.
This person could be:
- A spouse or ex-spouse
- Someone you have a child with
- Someone of the opposite sex who you live with or have previously lived with
We can help you obtain an Order of Protection in such cases, which orders your abuser to cease abuse and threats or else face legal ramifications. This order can help protect you and is available for both men and women, but not for unmarried, same-sex partners.
An Order of Protection can require that your abuser not attempt to contact you and even order him or her to stay away from you and any place you ask, including your work or home.
There are temporary and final orders of protection. When you file an Order of Protection and a judge believes you are in immediate danger, a court healing will be held within 24 hours. Once your abuser is served, the order is in effect for 15 days, or, until your full court hearing is scheduled.
For your temporary order, your abuser will not be present, but for a final order, both you and your abuser are present. Final orders can last six months to one year, and you may ask to have it extended.
A final order of protection can accomplish a few things that could be essential to the wellbeing of both you and your children:
- Give you temporary custody of your children
- Order your abuser to pay financial support for you and your child if you are married and they are the parent of the child
- Grant you temporary possession of your shared residence, even if your abuser owns the home or is the only one listed on the lease (this is applicable only when the abuser has a legal duty to support you and your children)
- Prohibit them from getting rid of any assets you share, and grant you possession or certain assets (with the help of law enforcement to obtain said assets)
- Order your abuser to pay for any court and attorney fees
You can make other requests that the judge may approve if they believe it’s necessary to keep you and your children safe. What your specific Order of Protection will dictate depends on your unique case.
If you’re under the age of 18, an adult household member can file an Order of Protection on your behalf.
Equitable Division of Property in Indian Land
If you can’t agree on how to divide your property during your divorce, it’s important to understand that the court will make a decision for you, and it may not be the outcome that you want.
At Harden Law, we can help you outline all assets or debts acquired during your marriage, including certain exceptions (gifts outside of the marriage or inherited property).
Each spouse must give their attorney a list of all assets and any debts either spouse may have. Even if you believe you have a right to a certain item, the court may not see it that way.
Many factors are considered in equitable division of property, including financial contributions to the marriage, fault, and length of the marriage. Our attorneys can help you negotiate property division terms to prevent a judge from deciding for you, or if your spouse will not agree, we’re fully prepared to fight for you in court.
If you and your spouse have separated (are no longer living together and have decided to end the marriage), but don’t yet have grounds for divorce, you can apply to the court for an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support.
This order will allow the court to put terms in place for alimony, child support and custody, and even division of property before your actual divorce. Or, if you and your spouse have agreed on the terms, you can submit to the judge for approval.
An Order of Separate Maintenance and Support can help protect your assets and secure support for your children during your separation until you can officially file for divorce.
Harden Law helps you determine if filing this order is in your best interest and to outline terms that will protect your personal and financial assets during your separation.
Need an Experienced Indian Land Family Lawyer?
When you work with us at Harden Law, you can expect dedication to your case, advocacy for your interests, and experience to provide you with the highest level of service possible in Indian Land. Contact us at Harden Law today to learn more about our family law services or to make an appointment to discuss your case!