With the loss of a loved one comes the duty of distributing their property. Whether you are the sole beneficiary, or maybe you need an attorney to handle the contents of a will, we are here for you. We know that these times can be very tough, making it hard to focus on these matters. We are here for you to make it as easy as possible. Call us today to ease the pain and suffering and spend more time focusing on the important aspects of life, such as your family.
Not every case in Family Court involves a divorce or separation. Sometimes, the parties are not married, but need to resolve custody, visitation or child support issues. Just like a divorce or separation, these cases can also be emotionally stressful. For more than 20 years, we have helped thousands of people achieve their desired results in these types of cases. Just as with a divorce or separation, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can advise you and guide you through this stressful time in your life. You can be assured that we will protect your interests and your rights throughout your case.
Over the years, we have represented numerous people in adoption cases. Adoptions are very complex cases and you should be represented by an attorney who is knowledgeable of the various adoption statutes and rules that govern that process. If you are considering adoption, or have already made that decision, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you and guide you through the entire adoption process.
We are frequently contacted about “name changes” that are not related to a divorce case where a spouse sometimes asks to be restored to her maiden name. Just like an adoption, there are certain rules and statutes that must be strictly followed before a Family Court judge will order that a person’s name can be changed. If you are considering legally changing your name, or have already made that decision, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you and guide you through this process.
Sometimes, children under 18 are charged with crimes just like adults. These are handled through the Department of Juvenile Justice (“DJJ”) and are generally heard in Family Court. There are many rules applicable in criminal cases that do not apply in juvenile cases. It is an entirely different procedure than when an adult is charged with a crime. Nevertheless, a child charged with a crime should receive the same attention to his or her case as an adult charged with the same crime. If your child has been charged with a crime, you should contact us immediately to ensure that he or she receives the full benefit of legal representation from the earliest possible moment. For more than 20 years, we have represented minors in these types of cases and with our knowledge and experience, you can count on us to devote the necessary time and attention to this case and achieve the best result possible.
A Last Will and Testament allows a person to determine how and where his or her estate assets will be distributed at death. Otherwise, the South Carolina Probate Code determines how that person’s estate assets will be distributed. This may be entirely different from how a person would have chosen to dispose of his or her assets. Therefore, it is important that a person have a Last Will and Testament. This can avoid many unnecessary and unintended issues and allows a person to carry out his or her final wishes.
There is no way to ease the pain of the loss of a loved one. However, with more than 20 years of legal experience in probate administration and litigation, we can assist you through the probate process, which can sometimes seem overwhelming and confusing. This process may include, among other things, what assets are “estate assets,” tax issues, creditor’s claims or debts owed to a decedent. No matter what the circumstances, we are available to assist you with compassionate guidance through the entire probate process.
Sometimes, there are disputes in an estate. This may concern the validity of a will, the construction of a will, issues regarding the validity of estate debts or determining the actual heirs of an estate. We have represented personal representatives, creditors, heirs and potential heirs numerous times over the years. With this experienced background, we will ensure that your interests are properly represented throughout the entire litigated process. With a vast knowledge of probate law, Mr. Phillips has even testified as an expert witness in another state concerning the South Carolina Probate Code.
A durable power of attorney and/or a health care power of attorney are legal documents that gives one person the authority to make decisions and act of behalf of another person. These documents can only be executed by someone who is mentally competent to make such a decision. However, if a person fails to properly execute a durable power of attorney or a health care power of attorney, and then becomes incapacitated, a guardianship and/or a conservatorship is the legal method by which a Probate Court determines who will be appointed to make financial decisions and healthcare decisions of behalf of another person. We have more than 20 years of experience helping persons in these difficult situations. We often work with family members or friends who are concerned about their loved ones and can guide them through the entire guardianship/ conservatorship process. Depending on the situation, a person may require the appointment of a guardian, a conservator, or both. Guardians are appointed to ensure that an incapacitated person’s health care, medical treatment and living arrangements are properly managed. Conservators are appointed to manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated person. Conservators may be appointed in a variety of cases, including when a person is no longer able to handle his or her own affairs, or when a minor child receives assets exceeding $10,000.00 through an inheritance or a personal injury settlement. Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Phillips has often been appointed by the Probate Court to serve as a conservator when families are in dispute, or when someone has no one to serve in that capacity.
If you have been the victim of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. For more than 20 years, we have represented clients who have suffered injuries and damages from car wrecks, accidental shootings, and other negligent acts. Every personal injury case occurs in a different manner with a different set of facts. South Carolina law allows for the collection of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and any impairment that may result from the negligent acts of another person. We can provide you with an honest assessment of your case and, if someone has injured you because of their negligence, you can expect us to devote the necessary time and attention to your case and recover the maximum benefit that you deserve.
Divorce can be a traumatic experience. Just like other types of cases, a divorce case can be uncontested or it can be a contested and lengthy process. People often ask how long it takes to get a divorce. Some divorce cases only take a few weeks and other divorces can take months, or even longer to reach a conclusion. The length of a divorce case depends on several factors, primarily the issue of whether or not there are contested issues in that case.
A divorce begins with the filing of a summons and complaint with the Clerk of Court. Once the summons and complaint are filed, the other party has to be served with those pleadings. Once the other party is served, that party has 30 days to respond. If there are issues that need to be addressed on a temporary basis, such as child custody, visitation, child support, possession of the marital home, etc., then a temporary hearing can be scheduled. In certain situations, it may be necessary to request an emergency or expedited temporary hearing.
Most people are surprised to learn that there are only a few grounds for divorce in South Carolina. These grounds are as follows: 1) adultery; 2) physical cruelty; 3) habitual drunkenness or drug use; 4) desertion (for 365 days or more); or 5) living separate and apart for a year. There is no “irreconcilable differences” ground for divorce in South Carolina.
Even if a person does not actually have a ground for divorce, it is possible to file a complaint for separate maintenance. In a separate maintenance case, a person can seek all available remedies that would normally be available in a divorce case.
No two divorce cases are alike and it can be a difficult process navigating through the legal system. For more than 20 years, we have helped thousands of people achieve their desired results in these types of cases. You need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can advise you and guide you through this stressful and difficult time in your life. You can be assured that we will protect your interests and your rights throughout your case.