Are South Carolina’s Alimony Laws Unfair?

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Either spouse may be awarded alimony under the South Carolina family court system. These payments are paid either periodically or in a lump sum, depending on the circumstances of the case. While there are many factors that go into alimony payments, one group in South Carolina has argued that the laws need to be changed to make the system fairer. 

How does alimony work in South Carolina?

When alimony is awarded in South Carolina, it is most often on a permanent, fixed-term basis. In these cases, the spouse will pay their ex on a weekly or monthly basis. Alimony payments can only be terminated in South Carolina if one spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or the receiving spouse lives with a romantic partner for 90 consecutive days. 

Wyman Oxner, president of the SC Alimony Reform Group, says that this needs to change. “We’re only asking for what’s fair. Make it level for both parties,” he says. His group has been advocating for changes to the alimony system for years. They would like judges in the state to have more options when determining payments, including:

  • Transitional alimony – this would be set up to help a spouse adapt to life after divorce. 
  • Fixed-term alimony – this would set up a finite amount of alimony that would be paid overtime and terminated once the amount has been reached. 

Oxner says that recent efforts to change this “archaic” system have failed in the State House, but that he is not giving up. He says that there was recently an 80-year-old man in Greenville put in jail because he could not make his alimony payments. 

Contact a South Carolina divorce attorney to help you through this

If you are going through a divorce and are worried about alimony payments, contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm. Whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, we will investigate your situation and work to determine the best path forward. Our Greenville alimony attorneys are going to help you through this process and ensure you are treated fairly by the South Carolina family court system. 

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