Protecting Your Lifestyle Before Divorce Is Finalized in SC

Protecting Your Lifestyle Before Divorce Is Finalized in SC

You have decided to divorce your spouse. You filed the proper paperwork at the courthouse and your no-longer-significant other has been properly served. You know that you may have a long and difficult road ahead of you, but what is going to happen before the divorce is finalized? What happens if you don’t have any income? Who is going to get custody of the kids right now? What happens if your spouse retaliates against you?  

The Temporary Order: Protecting Your Lifestyle

A temporary hearing is the first step after a divorce proceeding has been initiated. In a contested South Carolina divorce, a temporary hearing is held at the beginning of a case to lay the groundwork for the living and financial situations of the parties during the proceedings. The issues that the court normally determines in this type of hearing are usually:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Visitation
  • Maintenance of insurance coverages
  • Use of marital property like home or vehicles
  • Designation of who will pay for marital debts
  • Restraining orders against harassment of parties, if necessary
  • Restraining orders against the sale or liquidation of marital property
  • Spousal support

This hearing may also be referred to as a pendente lite hearing for temporary relief. In this case, the temporary that is referred to means that the order is only effective for the duration of the case. Once a final order at the end of the court case has been signed by the judge, the temporary relief order ceases to have an effect.

It is important to note that temporary relief orders do not affect the final decision that the judge will come to. Simply because one spouse may have been ordered to pay alimony or was awarded custody during the temporary hearing does not mean that they will necessarily be required to continue once the final order has been entered.

The Temporary Hearing: Not Your Typical Judicial Proceeding

The proceedings at the temporary hearing are governed by the South Carolina Family Court Rule 21. The law sets out some rules that may seem rather unusual for people unfamiliar with the family court system. For example, rather than having any sort of live testimony at the Temporary Hearing, only sworn statements called affidavits, pleadings and financial declarations are allowed. The affidavits themselves, due to a recent South Carolina Supreme Court order, are limited to only eight pages. Not only is there no live testimony but none of these documents have to be given to the opposing party before the temporary hearing. Therefore, each party is essentially going into the temporary hearing blind.

Protect Yourself From A Bad Temporary Order

After the court reviews the filed documents, each side has five to fifteen minutes to argue their position before the judge makes their decision. Temporary hearings, given their limited time of effectiveness, are rarely changed. Therefore it is very important that a person at the temporary hearing has a passionate and effective attorney representing their interests.

If you are considering filing divorce or have been served with divorce papers, protect yourself now. Consult the attorney at Klok Law Firm LLC in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. We will fight on your behalf to help you get the outcome that you desire. Call now at (843) 216-8860 or visit us online.