Mediation is the confidential, alternative dispute resolution process wherein a neutral third party helps opposing parties reach an agreeable resolution to their contested issues. In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory to try and resolve issues prior to the final hearing if parties cannot reach a resolution on their own. This helps to alleviate the burden on the courts, as most cases can settle when parties engage in good faith negotiation.
Jennifer Creech has been a certified, family-court mediator since 2011. She believes mediation is the best opportunity for parties to achieve a result that best meets their individual and familial interests and expectations, and reflects the history and dynamics of their unique relationship. She is acutely aware that resolution at mediation benefits the parties by ensuring they avoid unnecessary, prolonged litigation that frequently yields more emotional, divisive damage and crippling legal fees than any significantly different outcome. Jennifer Creech’s belief that mediation is the parties’ opportunity to create and control their own outcome is evident in her approach to mediation and the manner in which she strives to focus parties on the issues in the context of long-term effects and practicalities. While not every case does settle, Jennifer Creech is committed to facilitating closure in every case.
South Carolina laws do not require a court order to start a period of separation. In South Carolina, parties are considered separated when they no longer cohabit, or reside together in the same place. Often, the one-year period of separation necessary for a divorce is completed before any legal action is taken. At times, however, the inability to reach consensus or make necessary decisions to allow the family to continue to function effectively makes this period chaotic and untenable without legal process. In those situations, when the parties cannot agree on the issues that impact daily living, an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support is available, where financial obligations, child custody responsibilities and property distributions are determined. Whether the parties intend to divorce eventually, or simply desire to live separate and apart without divorce, after a consultation, you might find that this option will best meet the needs of you and your family.
In South Carolina, there are five grounds for divorce: living separate and apart for a period in excess of one year (also referred to “no fault”), adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness (alcohol and drugs, whether prescribed or not), and desertion for a period of one year. While the elements, procedures, and characteristics of individual cases may be similar, each case is uniquely different because of the facts involved. While your case may not create new law, and the issues involved may not be new to counsel or the Court, the outcome of every case is specific to that case. If you ask five divorced friends for details of their divorce proceedings, you will absolutely get five different scenarios. The supporting evidence, the distribution of responsibility, and the distribution of property are what makes each scenario different and what makes the specific outcomes of new cases difficult to predict. For this reason, it is best to retain a South Carolina divorce attorney for specific advice regarding your case.
One of the most difficult decisions for parents contemplating separation or divorce is how to determine custody of the children. In South Carolina, child custody can be granted to parents or, in some cases, non-parents. When determining custody, the court is focused solely on what is in the child’s best interest. It is no longer true that mothers have an advantage over fathers in custody disputes, so both parents have equal opportunity at the beginning of a custody dispute. During the litigation, the best interests of the children involved require that we balance their exposure to the process with the need to maintain some semblance of normalcy and security. In most cases, the Court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to conduct an impartial investigation addressing the factors the Court must consider in deciding issues of custody and visitation. While not a perfect solution to insulating children, the Guardian ad Litem has the ability to “speak” on behalf of the best interests of the children, without the bias or agenda of well-meaning parents or caregivers. There are many factors that influence custody orders and a South Carolina divorce attorney can best advise you of your rights.
In South Carolina, both parents are equally obligated to support their children from birth until age of emancipation. Although there are guidelines and formulas that are often used to determine the amount of child support required, the court will also consider unique factors with sufficient justification. A South Carolina divorce attorney is your best advocate to ensure that the child support awarded is a fair and reasonable amount.
Since 1983, when my family moved to Rock Hill just before I started high school, I have called the York County area home. While attending Davidson College, working for South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Division, studying at the University of South Carolina School of Law, and serving in the United States Marine Corps, York County is where I returned when I came home. It is where I knew I would finally settle and where I am fortunate to practice law today.
I am many things to many people: a wife, a mother, an attorney, and a former Marine. Each of these roles have better prepared me to help others navigate the legal process and the emotional rollercoaster of divorce and family law litigation.
As a wife, I want all marriages to succeed. However, I also know there are many reasons for which a marriage cannot be sustained. Divorce is not always the necessary solution. I can present all options and, together, we can decide what is in the best interest of you and your family.
As a mother, there is nothing more important to me than the children impacted by separation or divorce. I am always mindful of the welfare of children in family court cases and I strive to ensure both parties do the same.
As an attorney and member in good standing of the South Carolina Bar since 1998, I have the knowledge and the experience to help guide you through the daunting experience of family court litigation. Focused almost exclusively on family law since 2006, I have served as former counsel for York County Department of Social Services, and former counsel for the York County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program while maintaining a private practice. Whether you are faced with divorce, change of custody, issues of support, or a Department of Social Services investigation, there are many options that impact your best interests. It is my sole responsibility to make you aware of all options so your decisions are informed, well-reasoned, and most beneficial.
As a former Marine, I know a military divorce involves unique issues and considerations not found in “civilian” divorce. What might seem insignificant can have major implications to future benefits and rights, whether financial or custodial. If you or your spouse is an active or retired member of the armed forces, then I can help to protect your rights and your interests.
While the dissolution of a marriage or a battle over family issues is never easy, I am privileged to be able to advise, guide, and assist my clients to a resolution that optimizes their future security and transition to life after litigation.
The Law Office of Jennifer M. Creech, LLC is a Marital & Family Law-focused firm located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Jennifer Creech proudly offers her clients legal services in the areas of Family Court Litigation – divorce, separation, child support, child custody, Department of Social Services Investigations, and mediation. Jennifer Creech represents clients primarily in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties as well as throughout South Carolina.
We strive to provide every client with effective, prompt and aggressive representation.
This website is for your GENERAL information and education only and is not to be construed as legal advice between attorney and client. You should ALWAYS consult with a South Carolina divorce attorney personally for specific advice and questions about your case.