Support and Maintenance

Separate Support and Maintenance

South Carolina Family Courts issue Orders of Separate Support and Maintenance, which allow the parties to reside in separate households while also ordering specific details regarding the parties’ child custody, visitation, and support arrangements, as well as dividing the marital assets, liabilities and ordering marital debt payments. An Order of Separate Maintenance and Support is a temporary order; it does not cover the issue of divorce, and it does not end the parties’ marriage.

Either spouse may file an action for Separate Support and Maintenance, so long as the parties are living separate and apart. They must be living in completely separate residences – for example, living in the basement of the house under the same roof does not suffice as a separate residence. Sometimes there are circumstances where if one of the parties refuses to move out, one party can still file an action for Separate Support and Maintenance and seek an order requiring the other party to vacate the property. In those situations, the Court may order one party to remain in the marital home – usually the parent that usually takes care of the minor children, or one with other extenuating circumstances.

Issues Addressed in Maintenance or Support Orders

IN South Carolina

The issues addressed in maintenance and support orders in South Carolina are as follows: 

The issues not addressed in these orders are:  dividing retirement accounts, using life insurance as collateral for alimony, awarding post-divorce alimony, and divorce. These are final issues that will only be addressed once at a final hearing  or in a final order.

Avoid Expensive Litigation

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To avoid the expenses of litigation, the spouse can reach an agreement on the above issues, which the Judge will review to ensure it is fair to both parties, in the best interest of their minor children, and that it follows South Carolina law. If approved, the Agreement will be made an Order of the  court.