South Carolina Alimony / Spousal Support
South Carolina alimony, also referred to as spousal support is construed as payments for the support or maintenance of either the husband or the wife., by court order or through agreement of the parties.
South Carolina spousal support is intended to preserve the economic status of both parties, as it existed during the marriage.
Marital misconduct is a factor in determining an award for spousal support in the state of South Carolina.
Types of Alimony Awarded in South Carolina
Alimony and separate maintenance and support awards may be granted pendente lite and permanently in such amounts and for periods of time subject to conditions as the court considers just including, but not limited to:
- Periodic alimony to be paid but terminating on the remarriage or continued cohabitation of the supported spouse or upon the death of either spouse (except as secured in subsection (D)) and terminable and modifiable based upon changed circumstances occurring in the future. The purpose of this form of support may include, but is not limited to, circumstances where the court finds it appropriate to order the payment of alimony on an ongoing basis where it is desirable to make a current determination and requirement for the ongoing support of a spouse to be reviewed and revised as circumstances may dictate in the future.
- Lump-sum alimony in a finite total sum to be paid in one installment, or periodically over a period of time, terminating only upon the death of the supported spouse, but not terminable or modifiable based upon remarriage or changed circumstances in the future. The purpose of this form of support may include, but not be limited to, circumstances where the court finds alimony appropriate but determines that such an award be of a finite and nonmodifiable nature.
- Rehabilitative alimony in a finite sum to be paid in one installment or periodically, terminable upon the remarriage or continued cohabitation of the supported spouse, the death of either spouse (except as secured in subsection (D)) or the occurrence of a specific event to occur in the future, or modifiable based upon unforeseen events frustrating the good faith efforts of the supported spouse to become self-supporting or the ability of the supporting spouse to pay the rehabilitative alimony. The purpose of this form of support may include, but is not limited to, circumstances where the court finds it appropriate to provide for the rehabilitation of the supported spouse, but to provide modifiable ending dates coinciding with events considered appropriate by the court such as the completion of job training or education and the like, and to require rehabilitative efforts by the supported spouse
- Separate maintenance and support to be paid periodically, but terminating upon the continued cohabitation of the supported spouse, upon the divorce of the parties, or upon the death of either spouse (except as secured in subsection (D)) and terminable and modifiable based upon changed circumstances in the future. The purpose of this form of support may include, but is not limited to, circumstances where a divorce is not sought, but it is necessary to provide for support of the supported spouse by way of separate maintenance and support when the parties are living separate and apart.
- The duration of the marriage together with the ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce or separate maintenance action between the parties
- The physical and emotional condition of each spouse
- The educational background of each spouse, together with need of each spouse for additional training or education in order to achieve that spouse's income potential
- The employment history and earning potential of each spouse
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The current and reasonably anticipated earnings of both spouses
- The current and reasonably anticipated expenses and needs of both spouses
- The marital and nonmarital properties of the parties, including those apportioned to him or her in the divorce or separate maintenance action
- Custody of the children, particularly where conditions or circumstances render it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home, or where the employment must be of a limited nature
- Marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties, whether or not used as a basis for a divorce or separate maintenance decree if the misconduct affects or has affected the economic circumstances of the parties, or contributed to the breakup of the marriage, except that no evidence of personal conduct which may otherwise be relevant and material for the purpose of this subsection may be considered with regard to this subsection if the conduct took place subsequent to the happening of the earliest of (a) the formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement or (b) entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties
- The tax consequences to each party as a result of the particular form of support awarded
- The existence and extent of any support obligation from a prior marriage or for any other reason of either party
- such other factors the court considers relevant
Modification of Alimony in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the courts can modify any alimony award under certain circumstances. According to South Carolina Code, Section 20-3-170 alimony modifications are possible if the paying party experiences a change in financial ability or circumstances. In such a situation, either party may apply for a decrease of increase in the amount of spousal support as well as terminating the payments.
Termination of Alimony in South Carolina
Alimony terminates in South Carolina if either spouse dies, or the continued cohabitation of the supported spouse
South Carolina statutes regarding alimony can be found here: South Carolina TITLE 15 Domestic Relations CHAPTER 15-5 Divorce and Separation.
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