What Grounds Should You State for Your South Carolina Divorce?

What Grounds Should You State for Your South Carolina Divorce

When you file for divorce, every state requires you to provide grounds for dissolving your marriage. The specific grounds available will depend on state law, and South Carolina allows you to cite no-fault or fault-based grounds. It is important to carefully consider this decision with the help of a divorce lawyer in Hilton Head.

No-Fault Divorce

South Carolina does not require you to prove marital misconduct to get divorced. Instead, you can simply state that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. In order to petition for a no-fault divorce in South Carolina, however, you must show that you have lived apart from your spouse continuously for at least one year before filing.

Fault-Based Divorce

The fault grounds in South Carolina are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Physical cruelty
  • Abandonment by your spouse for one year

There are some benefits to citing fault-based grounds for some spouses. First, you do not have to be separated for one year for a fault divorce (except in abandonment cases). Additionally, proving that your spouse engaged in misconduct can give you an advantage in alimony, property division, or child custody determinations.

It is important to consider that you must provide sufficient evidence of the specific misconduct to the court. If your spouse will not admit to misconduct, this can result in highly personal information being exposed in open court, which can often make the divorce process significantly more adversarial.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head, SC for Assistance

There are possible pros and cons to both no-fault and fault-based divorce grounds. This is something you should discuss with an experienced Hilton Head divorce attorney before you file your petition with the court. Call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of David Parker Geis, LLC today.


Should You Move Out of the House Before a Divorce?

Should You Move Out of the House Before a Divorce

When you and your spouse begin to realize that your marriage is not working, you might want to spend some time apart. You might be tempted to pack up some things and find an apartment, though is it a good idea to move out before your divorce is final?

In some cases, moving out is necessary. If your spouse refuses to leave and they put your or your children at risk of harm, you should not hesitate to protect yourselves. However, if there is no threat at home, you might want to discuss this decision with a divorce lawyer in South Carolina.

Property Division in a Divorce

In South Carolina, the law requires divorcing couples to divide all of their marital property in an equitable manner. A house is usually considered marital property – even if it is only in one spouse’s name, as they likely lived together in the house and both contributed financially to the house during the marriage.

You cannot divide a house in half. You can sell the house and divide the proceeds, though this often does not happen if there are children involved, as you want to preserve their status quo as much as possible. This means that one spouse might stay in the house and the other relinquishes ownership in exchange for other property.

If you move out, it can often be difficult to get back in. While this is not always the case, you should seek the advice of a trusted attorney about whether you should move out or not during your divorce.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in South Carolina for More Information

The Law Firm of David Parker Geis, LLC, advises clients on matters and concerns before, during, and after divorce. Call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to speak to a South Carolina divorce attorney today.



Custody Planning for the Holidays

Custody Planning for the Holidays

When you set your custody schedule, you should always consider how the schedule will change over the holidays. You should also address which parent gets to be with the kids at which times over the holiday season. All of this should be set out in your parenting plan, which you can review to prevent disputes from arising.

Splitting Holidays

Facing the holiday season after a divorce is never easy. It can become more emotionally difficult if you are not spending every holiday with your children. However, sharing custody requires compromise and making new traditions, and you should consider the best way to divide time over the holiday season.

Do you celebrate Christmas and your ex-spouse celebrates Hanukkah? This can make it simpler to divide up custody on these days. However, if you both celebrate the same holiday, you will have to decide how to divide the day or trade off every other year. This might mean making new traditions with your kids or making adjustments regarding family gatherings. It is important to set a holiday schedule that will best work long-term for your family.

Winter Break

Your children will be on break from school during the holiday season, so their regular custody schedule might not work. There are many factors to take into consideration, including possible travel plans, childcare if you have to work, and more. You might need to set a different schedule for this break than you have while the kids are in school.

Discuss Your Concerns with a Child Custody Lawyer in Hilton Head

The Law Offices of David Parker Geis helps parents design parenting plans and schedules that can last throughout the year, even during the holiday season. Call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to speak with a Hilton Head child custody attorney today.



How Long Will My South Carolina Divorce Take?

How Long Will My South Carolina Divorce Take

When you file for divorce, you likely want the matter to be finished as quickly as possible. However, there is a specific process for divorce cases in South Carolina, and a divorce cannot be finalized immediately. First, every divorce case has at least a 90-day waiting period from the filing date. This exists to ensure spouses have the chance to reconcile or rethink ending their marriage. There are also other factors that can increase the length of your divorce case.

Your Grounds for Divorce

South Carolina is a state that allows you to choose between no-fault divorce (citing irreconcilable differences) or fault-based grounds based on marital misconduct. While no-fault divorce does not require you to provide evidence of cruelty or adultery, it does require you to live separately for one year or longer before you can get divorced.

Resolving Issues in Your Divorce

Every divorce requires you to resolve certain issues, which might include:

  • Division of property and assets
  • Child custody and support
  • Spousal support

Some spouses agree to resolve their divorce-related matters as efficiently as possible, so they cooperate and reach agreements before even filing for divorce. An uncontested divorce will often be finalized a lot faster than a contested divorce, though you still have to wait 90 days. If you have certain contested issues, you might need to attend mediation sessions or even engage in litigation to resolve the matters. This can cause delays in your case.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head and Bluffton for Help Today

At the Law Offices of David Parker Geis, LLC, we work to help clients resolve their divorce cases as quickly as possible while still protecting their rights and interests. If you would like to discuss the divorce process in Bluffton or Hilton Head, speak with our divorce attorney today. Contact us online or call 843.715.0661 for assistance.


Requirements for Your Divorce

Requirements for Your Divorce

Deciding to end your marriage is a big step, and you likely want to move forward with your life as soon as possible. However, divorce is a legal process, and there are different requirements you must meet before the South Carolina court will end your marriage.



If both spouses live in South Carolina, the spouse filing the divorce petition must have lived in the state for three months. If only one of you lives in the state, that spouse must live there for one year prior to filing the petition.

Grounds and Waiting Period

When you file for divorce, you must cite grounds for why you want to dissolve the marriage. You can cite no-fault grounds, which means you do not need to prove that your spouse engaged in misconduct in order to get divorced. However, a no-fault divorce requires that you have been living separately from your spouse for at least one year before you file.

On the other hand, you can cite fault-based grounds with no separation requirement. These grounds include:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Substance abuse
  • Desertion

If you cite fault-based grounds, you must provide sufficient proof to back up your claims of misconduct. While you do not need to be separated prior to the divorce, fault-based grounds require a 90-day waiting period before the court will finalize your case.

Resolving Issues

Every divorce case requires you to resolve relevant issues, which can include:

  • Alimony
  • Property division
  • Child custody
  • Child support

You can resolve these out of court or have the judge decide on the resolution for you.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head and Bluffton, SC

The Law Offices of David Parker Geis, LLC, represents clients in all types of divorce cases in South Carolina. If you would like to learn about your options and the legal process, call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to speak with a Hilton Head and Bluffton divorce attorney.


Preparing for a Possible Divorce

Preparing for a Possible Divorce

If you think divorce might be possible in your near future, there are certain steps you can take to prepare for a potential case. Whether you might file in a few weeks or months, or you suspect your spouse might file, it can be very helpful to take some time to prepare for a potential case. Doing so can help resolve your case more efficiently in many situations.


First, it is important to take stock of your financial situation. It is a good idea to gather all account information, including:

  • Current bank account balances
  • Investment portfolios
  • Retirement accounts
  • Property titles and values
  • Debts
  • All sources of income

You should also gather personal information, including the Social Security numbers of your spouse and children.

If you have children, it is important to consider what type of custody arrangement might work best for your family. If you believe your spouse might put your child at risk of harm, you should prepare to seek primary custody. Otherwise, it is the reality that you will probably have to share custody with your ex-spouse, and you should think about the best type of shared schedule for your situation.

As soon as divorce is on your radar, you should schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney. Even if you are not necessarily ready to file a petition, a lawyer can give you an idea of how the process works, so you know what expect if the time does arrive to file a case.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Bluffton and Hilton Head

The Law Offices of David Parker Geis, LLC, consults with people who are considering a divorce, as well as those involved in a case already. Contact us online or call 843.715.0661 to set up a consultation to learn about the divorce process in South Carolina.


Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Benefits of Divorce Mediation Image

“Mediation” is a term that many divorcing spouses will likely hear. While you might have an idea about what mediation might be, many people are unclear about the process and its potential benefits for a divorce case. The following are some benefits that spouses can gain from a successful mediation process.

Saving Resources

There is no doubt that litigation can be costly – in money, time, and energy. If you and your spouse are at an impasse over one or more issues in your divorce, you likely want to avoid going to court. Mediation can help spouses who are at odds work together to find a solution that prevents the need for litigation and its associated costs. When informal negotiation is not working, mediation might be the tool that saves you resources.

Maintaining Control Over Your Case

When a case goes to court, the judge will rule on relevant issues based on their evaluation of the evidence and arguments presented. Once your attorney presents your case, you have no power over the judge’s decision. Your finances and/or future will be in someone else’s hands, and you could feel the effects for years to come. In mediation, on the other hand, you and your spouse are in full control of what type of agreement you reach, which can be tailored to your situation.


Most litigation rulings are public record, though mediation agreements can be kept confidential. This might be important to some spouses who do not want to release information about finances, allegations of misconduct, or other information to the public.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head and Bluffton for More Information

The Law Offices of David Parker Geis represents clients throughout divorce mediation or litigation. Please call 843.715.0661 or contact us online if you would like to discuss your options with a Hilton Head and Bluffton divorce attorney.

What Happens When Business Owners Divorce?

What Happens When Business Owners DivorceAn essential part of any divorce case is the division of marital property, which includes the family home, vehicles, financial accounts, personal belongings, and more. The more complicated your marital property is, the more challenging it might be to divide it between yourselves. One factor that can make property division particularly complex is when spouses own a business together.

Working for yourselves is often considered the American dream, and the right business venture can be lucrative and rewarding for you and your family. However, what happens if two business owners decide to get divorced?

Business Interests as Marital Property

Business interests – or at least an increase in the business value –  are considered to be marital property in many situations, especially if you own a business together. If the company is the livelihood for both of you, how do you decide how to divide it? There are different common options for such a division:

  • Sell the company altogether and divide the proceeds
  • One spouse buys out the other’s interests
  • The spouses decide to keep working and owning the company together

It is important to have a reliable business valuation to know how much there is to be divided or what the selling price should be. Often, if one spouse plans to keep the business, they might not have the funds to buy out the other spouse outright. It might be possible to award the leaving spouse more property (such as the family home) in exchange for their portion of the business.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head Today

The Law Offices of David Parker Geis LLC can help with complicated property division determinations, as well as all other issues in your divorce case. Call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to learn how a Hilton Head divorce attorney can assist you.


“I was represented by Dave Geis in a hotly contested and financially sophisticated divorce action. I was and am very satisfied with the results achieved by Dave as well as the support and understanding that his staff gave me in this very difficult time.”