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Best Family Lawyers in Charleston

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Averill Law Firm, LLC logo
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Averill Law Firm, LLC

528 Johnnie Dodds Blvd # 102, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
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  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Averill Law Firm, LLC, assists locals in and around Charleston facing family-related challenges. It offers mediation and guardian ad litem services and provides legal representation in divorce and child custody battles. The law office also guides parents who wish to establish paternity rights, process adoptions, and put estate plans in place for the benefit of their families. Maria Averill, its attorney, utilizes her knowledge as a counseling degree holder and former therapist in dealing with her clients.

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Ballinger Law Firm logo
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Ballinger Law Firm

858 W. Lowcountry Blvd. Ste. 101, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Ballinger Law Firm has been helping families throughout Charleston and the surrounding areas resolve conflicts for more than three decades. Beverly K. Ballinger is a Certified Family Court Mediator who helps couples and families reach amicable settlements in matters surrounding divorces, child custody and visitation, support payments, parental relocation, and legal separation. She and her team also handle gray divorces for couples who have been married for over 40 years. Ballinger is also admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Louisiana.

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Brinkley Law Firm LLC logo
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Brinkley Law Firm LLC

1 Carriage Lane, Building F Suite 100, Charleston, SC 29407
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Brinkley Law Firm, LLC, addresses the legal needs of Charleston clients. It helps divorcing spouses avoid or deal with the complications that come with the decision to end a marriage. The firm handles issues such as alimony, child custody and support, marital property distribution, and visitation. It practices collaborative law to minimize the impact of litigation on minor children and preserve their well-being. The office, founded in 2011, also advises same-sex couples and future parents on building their families through adoption or assisted reproduction.

Professionalism:

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Carolyn M Bone logo
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Carolyn M Bone

211 Stallsville Loop, Summerville, SC 29485
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Carolyn M Bone is a law firm representing individuals and families in Charleston and the surrounding areas. It handles a wide range of family law cases, including military and same-sex divorce, child and spousal support, name changes, and adoptions. It also offers mediation assistance for clients whose settlement agreement aligns with other parties' interests, allowing them to resolve legal disputes without litigation. Its founding attorney Carolyn Bone is a South Carolina Family Court certified mediator.

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Dell Family Law logo
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Dell Family Law

1064 Gardner Road Suite 201, Charleston, SC 29407
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  • Divorce
  • Child Custody

Business Description

Established in 2011, Dell Family Law offers its services to the people of the entire Charleston county and its surrounding areas. Its legal team advocates for clients through the complex and emotionally draining processes of divorce, child custody, establishing paternity, and division of assets and debts. Couples looking to have a more peaceful process of separation may also enlist the firm’s attorneys for mediation services. Managing attorney Megan Hunt Dell clerked for the Charleston County Family Court prior to becoming a lawyer.

Professionalism:

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Gatgounis Law & Consulting Firm, LLC logo
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Gatgounis Law & Consulting Firm, LLC

3 Broad Street, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29401
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Gatgounis Law & Consulting Firm, LLC, caters to people in Charleston and nearby areas. It offers guidance and advocates for individuals who wish to end their marriage by assisting them with asset division and child custody. Personal injury, probate, and immigration law are some of the firm's other areas of practice. George J. Gatgounis, the office's owner, has been certified by the Supreme Court of South Carolina as a family court mediator and civil court arbitrator.

Professionalism:

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Gregory S. Forman Attorney at Law logo
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Gregory S. Forman Attorney at Law

171 Church Street, Suite 160, Charleston, SC 29401
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Gregory S. Forman, Attorney at Law, has been practicing family law since 1993 and working for people in Charleston. He provides legal assistance on domestic issues like divorce, adoption, and child support. To provide individualized services, Forman speaks with clients personally and only employs assistants based on the needs of the case. He has published lecture materials and articles on family matters like common domestic abuse proceeding problems and litigation methods for financially struggling individuals.

Professionalism:

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Ingrid H. Rudolph Attorney at Law logo
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Ingrid H. Rudolph Attorney at Law

1483 Tobias Gadson Blvd., #205a, Charleston, SC 29407
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Ingrid H. Rudolph, Attorney at Law, caters to individuals in Charleston and nearby areas. Rudolph guides her clients through the whole family law case procedure, which may involve divorce, parenting plans, and contempt orders, as well as agreements related to separation and domestic partnerships. She negotiates terms through mediation and aggressively fights for her clients' rights and interests in court if reasonable settlements are not reached. Rudolph also works on bankruptcy cases and is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

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Lauren Taylor Law logo
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Lauren Taylor Law

125 River Landing Dr. Suite 204, Daniel Island, SC 29492
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Lauren Taylor Law assists Charleston residents in resolving family law disputes. The firm handles cases involving spouses and children, including divorce, alimony, child support and custody, and adoption. Additionally, it represents those accused of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Lauren Taylor established her practice in 2012 and is actively involved in the community as a member of the Greenville Junior League. Her legal team also includes managing partner Melissa L. Douthit, who has litigation and research experience from her time at an insurance defense firm.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Law Office of Taylor Long, LLC. logo
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Law Office of Taylor Long, LLC.

1412 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29407
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  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Taylor Long, LLC., offers legal advice to Charleston clients. Long handles family law matters involving divorce, paternity, alimony, child support, property division, and separate maintenance. She represents her clients' best interests and educates them about their options and legal rights. Long is a court-certified mediator and has settled most of her cases through mediation. She is a National Trial Lawyers Association member and was recognized as one of the organization's Top 40 Under 40 in 2012.

Professionalism:

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Tasha J. Kotz logo
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Tasha J. Kotz

125 Wappoo Creek Drive Bldg. G, Ste. 102, Charleston, SC 29412
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Tasha J. Kotz handles the family law concerns of the residents of Charleston. The practice irons out divorce processes and the concurrent issues surrounding the division of marital assets, the custody of minor children, and the allocation of support and parenting obligations. It also takes on estate planning duties to facilitate the smooth transfer of inheritable properties when the decedent dies or becomes invalid. Tasha J. Kotz is adept at settlement negotiations beyond the judicial system.

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The Law Office of Sara A. Turner logo
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The Law Office of Sara A. Turner

142 Williman St. Unit A, Charleston, SC 29403
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  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of Sara A. Turner caters to the legal needs of clients in Charleston. Its team handles common family law issues, such as alimony and modifications, child custody and visitation, divorce and separation, restraining orders, and post-divorce issues. The firm also covers other legal areas, including personal injury and criminal defense. Primary attorney Sara A. Turner has acted as a guardian ad litem in various situations. She also authored an article about parental alienation, which is a common issue in custody disputes.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Theos Law Firm, LLC logo
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Theos Law Firm, LLC

11 State Street, Charleston, SC 29401
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  • Alimony
  • Asset Distribution
  • Domestic Violence
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Adoption
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Theos Law Firm, LLC, caters to families in Charleston and nearby communities. It provides legal solutions to a range of cases involving family law, from divorce, property division, and child custody to post-divorce modification and restraining order enforcement. Its team of lawyers draws from more than 60 years of collective experience in representing clients throughout litigation, arbitration, and mediation proceedings. In addition to family disputes, they handle criminal, civil litigation, and personal injury law matters.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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