Family Law Attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach family law attorney Daniel Selwa has nearly 20 years of experience handling legal matters for clients in the Horry County family court, including divorce proceedings, child custody matters, child support enforcement, division of marital property, and seeking orders of protection on behalf of clients.

I understand that separation, divorce, and the resulting conflict over finances, children, and property is devastating, emotional, and painful for many of our clients, and our office will be there with you at every stage of the process.

Give us a call or send us an email through our website to set up a consultation (there is a $150 consultation fee for family law matters) to discuss your case and your next steps to achieve your goals.

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Family Law Attorney in Horry County, SC

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Our law office is in Surfside Beach, SC, and we accept family law cases in Horry County, Georgetown County, and throughout the Grand Strand area.

Your criminal defense lawyer was born and raised in Horry County, and knows the local courts, prosecutors, clerks, judges, and attorneys who will be involved in your case.

Whether you are facing a complex divorce with multiple businesses and substantial assets, a no-contest divorce based on one year’s separation, or another family law matter like modification of a court order or adoption proceedings, Daniel Selwa will be there at every stage of your proceedings to protect your interests and your family.

When you call our office, I will meet with you to answer your questions, learn about your case, and give you an honest initial opinion for a consultation fee of $150 for up to one hour of consultation.

When you retain our office to represent you, I will:

  • Keep you informed at all stages of your case, return your phone calls, and maintain open communication with you,
  • Investigate and gather the evidence you will need to prove your claims in court,
  • Assist you in retaining a private investigator or other experts as needed,
  • Research, draft, file, and serve any pleadings necessary to file your case or to reply to a case filed against you,
  • Keep your expenses to a minimum in an uncontested divorce while ensuring that your rights are protected and the other party is not taking advantage of you,
  • Engage in all necessary discovery, depositions, and litigation to protect your financial security and your relationship with your children in a contested case,
  • Negotiate with your former spouse or opposing counsel to achieve a settlement agreement or separation agreement as appropriate,
  • Represent you in mediation proceedings when they are necessary, and
  • Try your case to a family court judge if the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement.

Types of Family Law Matters We Accept

Learn About Family Law in South Carolina

What is the Family Court in SC?

The family court only has jurisdiction to hear cases that involve family, or domestic, law. This could include:

  • Divorce proceedings,
  • Child custody matters,
  • Actions for separate support and maintenance,
  • Child support enforcement,
  • Juvenile criminal matters, and
  • Adoption proceedings.

The family court in Horry County is located in the Horry County Courthouse (on the second floor, whereas criminal and civil court matters are heard in courtrooms on the third floor), and the family court in Georgetown County is located in the Georgetown County Courthouse.

Grounds for Divorce in SC

There are five grounds for divorce in SC:

  1. Adultery,
  2. Habitual drunkenness,
  3. Physical cruelty,
  4. Abandonment, and
  5. One year separation (no fault).

The first four grounds for divorce are considered “fault grounds,” while divorce on grounds of one year’s continuous separation is a “no-fault” ground for divorce.

Legal Separation in SC

There is no official status of “legal separation” in SC. You can be separated – and must be continuously separated for at least one year to get a no fault divorce, but your official status is still “married” until you have a final divorce decree.

You can, however, file an action for Separate Support and Maintenance, even if you are not filing for a divorce just yet. The family court can then issue an order resolving some of the difficult issues that come along with a separation like spousal support, possession of the marital home or vehicles, child custody, child visitation, and child support.

How is Child Custody Decided in SC?

The family court must make child custody decisions based on the best interest of the child.

SC Code Section 63-15-240(B) lists the factors that the court is required to consider when deciding what is in the best interest of the child, including:

  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child,
  • The home environment offered by each parent,
  • The child’s preferences,
  • The parents’ preferences,
  • Whether there has been any abuse in the home, and
  • Any other factor that is necessary to determine the best interest of the child.

FAQ for Family Law Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, Horry County, SC

Do I Need an Attorney to File a Case in the Family Court?

Anyone can represent themselves in the family court, but that does not mean it is a good idea.

It is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney who knows the procedure, law, and potential pitfalls before filing any matter in the family court. Whether it is a divorce action, an action for separate support and maintenance, or adoption proceedings, this is one of the most important events in your life, and it is important that you get it right.

How Do I Find the Best Family Law Attorney?

You can find the best family law attorney for you and for your case by doing some research and interviewing several attorneys before making a decision.

Look at the law firm’s websites and blogs, look the attorney up on the SC Bar’s website to see if there are any disciplinary actions, ask friends and family for their experiences with different attorneys, and meet with a few different attorneys to see who you are most comfortable with.

What is a Simple or Uncontested Divorce?

A “simple” or “uncontested” divorce is when the parties agree on all issues and are seeking a divorce based on one year’s continuous separation.

A no-fault divorce is not necessarily an uncontested divorce. The case is only truly uncontested when there are no issues left to resolve – no disagreements over child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, or division of assets.

Your attorney will still look over all agreements, review the financial documents, and ensure that you are not being taken advantage of and that your rights are protected, but you will save money on attorney fees for litigation costs and mediation.

How is Child Support Decided in SC?

Child support in SC is determined using the SC Child Support Guidelines, but the court can deviate from the guidelines when there are extraordinary circumstances.

In many cases, the parents agree on the amount of child support and include the terms in their separation agreement or marital settlement agreement. When the parents do not agree, they must attend mandatory mediation, and, if the mediation fails, the family court will decide the issue at a trial.

What is a Temporary Hearing?

In most contested family court cases, the first motion will be a motion for temporary relief.

At a temporary hearing, the family court can issue a temporary order that resolves critical issues like spousal support, possession of the family home, child custody and visitation, and child support on a temporary basis until the court holds a final hearing.

What's the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

Legal custody is when the parent has the right to make important decisions in the child’s life that involve matters like the child’s education, medical care, or religious upbringing.

Physical custody is where the child lives – in most cases, one parent will have primary custody of the child while the other parent has reasonable visitation with the child.

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