What Happens When Someone Files Bankruptcy During a Divorce?

Sometimes during a divorce or custody case, a party may file for divorce.  When this happens it is always wise to get a bankruptcy attorney involved as bankruptcy is a specialized area of the law.  More likely than not you will probably need the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney to help get the case resolved.  Generally, bankruptcy will stop a divorce case from being completed.  However, in some instances the case can continue provided one of the parties asks the bankruptcy court to lift the automatic stay that is put in place whenever bankruptcy is filed.  Nevertheless, bankruptcy will not stop someone’s child support or alimony obligation.  If you are involved in a divorce or custody case, and the other side files for bankruptcy, contact me as soon as possible, so I can advise you on the next steps to take in order to bring a resolution to your case.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows one person to authorize another person or organization to act on that person’s behalf.  For instance, a husband could sign a Power of Attorney which would allow his wife to take care of his financial affairs and other responsibilities in case he is unable or unwilling to take care of his affairs.

So, what happens if you do not have a Power of Attorney?  If you do not have a Power of Attorney and you become physically or mentally disabled to the point that you cannot handle your affairs, then someone like your spouse will have to bring a lawsuit in Probate Court in order to have your spouse appointed as your conservator.  Having to bring this type of legal action is lengthy and expensive.  For instance, a proper Power of Attorney will only cost about $200 while a legal proceeding in Probate Court will cost thousands of dollars.

Do you need a Power of Attorney? Absolutely!  We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but there is a good chance that at some point in our lives we will not be able to take care of ourselves.  Unfortunately, we do not know when that time will come, but it will come.  Good financial planning involves wise preparation.  If you do not have a Power of Attorney, please call me (864) 228-1616) or email me (rdburney@turnerandburney.com), and we can discuss in greater detail the benefits of having a Power of Attorney.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

CAN SOUTH CAROLINA FAMILY COURT ENFORCE ANOTHER STATE’S CUSTODY OR VISITATION ORDER?

Yes.  In certain circumstances, South Carolina can enforce another state’s custody or visitation order. Of course every case has different facts which will affect how a judge will decide a case.  The best course to take is to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss all of your facts, so you will have a better understanding of what to expect in court.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

CAN ANOTHER STATE CHANGE MY SOUTH CAROLINA CUSTODY ORDER?

There are situations that can arise that would allow another state to change your South Carolina custody order. However, if you plan on moving, you need to first speak with an attorney to discuss your move, so he can tell you what you need to be careful about and to consider before moving. Of course every case has different facts which will affect how a judge will decide a case.  The best course to take is to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss all of your facts, so you will have a better understanding of what to expect in court.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

What happens if you die without a will?

If you die without a will in South Carolina, then the State of South Carolina will determine how your assets will be divided.  If you die without a will you are considered to have died intestate rather than testate (with a will).  If you are married then all of your estate will go to your spouse unless you have children.  People who die leaving a spouse and children will have ½ of their estate go to their spouse while the remaining ½ will go to the surviving child/children.  For those people who are not married and die without a will, their entire estate will go to their children.  If someone dies without children, then their estate will go to their parents.  If there are no surviving parents, then the estate will be divided among siblings and possibly the siblings’ children.

Of course, the easiest and cheapest way to prevent the division of your estate being decided by the State of South Carolina is by having an attorney draft a will.  What few people realize is that it is cheaper to die with a will than to dies without.  Adding one important sentence to a will can save your estate more than what it would cost to have paid an attorney to draft a will.  Call (864-228-1616) or email (rdburney@turnerandburney.com)  today to find out more!  Also, be sure to ask me how you can possibly avoid the entire probate process all together.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

IF I MOVE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, DO I NEED TO GET A NEW CUSTODY ORDER FROM THE STATE I AM MOVING TO?

Generally, your South Carolina custody order will be recognized in most states.  However, if you plan on moving, you need to first speak with an attorney to discuss your move, so he can tell you what you need to be careful about and to consider before moving.  Of course every case has different facts which will affect how a judge will decide a case.  The best course to take is to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss all of your facts, so you will have a better understanding of what to expect in court.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

AM I ENTITLED TO MY CHILD’S MEDICAL RECORDS?

Often parents who do not have custody of their child wonder if they can get copies of their children’s medical or school records, even if the other parent does not consent.  It is not uncommon for a doctor or school to refuse to give school or medical records to the non-custodial parent.  However, the law in South Carolina is clear.  Unless otherwise ordered or in violation of State law, each parent has equal access and the same right to obtain all educational records and medical records of his or her minor children and the right to participate in the children’s school activities and extracurricular activities that are held in public locations. SECTION 63-15-260, S.C. Code of Laws

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

AM I ENTITLED TO MY CHILD’S SCHOOL RECORDS?

Often parents who do not have custody of their child wonder if they can get copies of their children’s school or medical records, even if the other parent does not consent.  It is not uncommon for a school or doctor to refuse to give school or medical records to the non-custodial parent.  However, the law in South Carolina is clear.  Unless otherwise ordered or in violation of State law, each parent has equal access and the same right to obtain all educational records and medical records of his or her minor children and the right to participate in the children’s school activities and extracurricular activities that are held in public locations. SECTION 63-15-260, S.C. Code of Laws

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

How To Be A Positive Influence on Your Children?

How To Be A Positive Influence on Your Children?

No Parent is Perfect

As a divorce attorney and father, I know first-hand how hard it is being a parent. So, how do we as parents positively influence their behavior?  The few points I’ve listed below are not me preaching to you; in fact, you probably have thought about all of these.  However, what I’ve listed below are what children I represent have repeatedly said would have positively influenced their actions.

  1. Know the parents

There are parents who would rather have their child get high at their house than at a stranger’s house.  Children will flock to one of two types of homes:  one is where their vices are being  met, or one where they needs are being met.  You need to know what their friend’s parents will allow at their home.

  1. Check up on them

When you child is leaving home, ask them “Where, when, how, who, and why.” If their story sounds fishy, investigate.  Remember that God probably let you survive the stupid things you did as a child, so you could outsmart your child.   I know parents who will call the home where their child is supposed to be and ask to speak to the parents.  Does their child hate this? Yes.  Do they accuse their parents of not trusting them? Yes.  Did that child later say that their parent checking on them resulted in better choices?  Yes.  The reason given was that they believed their parents cared enough about them to know what they were doing.

  1. Tell them how their actions make you feel

For example, it is one thing to tell a child they shouldn’t use drugs because it’s bad for them.  It’s another thing to tell them why you don’t want them to use drugs.  Let’s face it, despite what our cardiologist says, we still eat Krispy Kreme Donuts.  Telling your child not to do something because it is bad might work, but what they want to hear is simpler than that.  Tell them that you love them and that you will be disappointed in them if they make that choice.  They may not care about their bodies, but they may care about you.

  1. Let them fail

I see this in some of the addicts that come in my office.  Their parents just couldn’t let their child fail, and as a result their child continued the same behavior.  I understand that this point is somewhat contradictory to the previous points, but if we as parents consistently bail out bad behavior, are we not really rewarding it?  Tough love is hard, but necessary.

What I have outlined above is not necessarily a “How to Parent” guide.  It is a list of what I hear teenagers say either contributed to or prevented certain actions. We are not perfect and parenting is tough, so go get a Krispy Kreme Donut. You can tell your doctor that I gave you permission as your reward for being a great parent.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com

WHAT DOES A JUDGE CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A DECISION ABOUT CUSTODY?

In South Carolina, the judge must first determine what is in the child’s best interest when deciding which party will have custody. In determining what is in the child’s best interest, the court can look at

1)  the temperament and developmental needs of the child;

(2) the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child;

(3) the preferences of each child;

(4) the wishes of the parents as to custody;

(5) the past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child’s siblings, and any other person, including a grandparent, who may significantly affect the best interest of the child;

(6) the actions of each parent to encourage the continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent, as is appropriate, including compliance with court orders;

(7) the manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents in an effort to involve the child in the parents’ dispute;

(8) any effort by one parent to disparage the other parent in front of the child;

(9) the ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child;

(10) the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community environments;

(11) the stability of the child’s existing and proposed residences;

(12) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or other party, in and of itself, must not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;

(13) the child’s cultural and spiritual background;

(14) whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected;

(15) whether one parent has perpetrated domestic violence or child abuse or the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or between the parent and the child;

(16) whether one parent has relocated more than one hundred miles from the child’s primary residence in the past year, unless the parent relocated for safety reasons; and

(17) other factors as the court considers necessary.

-S.C. Code of Laws, Sec. 63-15-240

Of course every case has different facts which will affect how a judge will decide a case.  The best course to take is to schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss all of your facts, so you will have a better understanding of what to expect in court.

Rhett Burney
Attorney at Law
rdburney@turnerandburney.com
(864) 228-1616
www.turnerandburney.com
www.rhettburney.com