No Fault Divorce

No Fault Divorce

Divorce with dignity is one of our core values at Christine M. Howard. We want to help couples work through their divorce with as little stress as possible. We understand that divorce is not easy. We understand that there are a lot of emotions involved. We also know that many couples just want to be able to move on with their lives easily. We want to help you do that.

Divorce with Dignity Through No-Fault Divorce

If you are considering divorce you might want to consider a no-fault divorce. The state of South Carolina recognizes five grounds for divorce: adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse, physical cruelty, and finally what is known as no-fault. In a no-fault divorce all a spouse has to do is give any reason that the state honors for the divorce, the most commonly given reasons being “irreconcilable differences” or an “irreparable breakdown of the marriage.” In this type of divorce you don’t have to prove anything to the court. You and your spouse simply come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce and file it with the court.

More Control, More Personal

A no-fault divorce gives you and your spouse more control over the outcome. In other types of divorce the court is ultimately the one that decides on the terms and issues surrounding your divorce. But, in a no-fault divorce, you are able to make all of the decisions yourself. This allows for the divorce to work out so it meets both of your needs. It is more personal and grants you and your spouse more dignity.

Better for Children

Because a no-fault divorce gives you more control and makes the outcome more personal, it is ultimately better for children. Divorce will always be hard for children. But because of the dignity in a no-fault divorce children will be able to adjust better. There is less time in court and often less of a battle between spouses. No-fault divorce prevents the ugly, drawn-out battles between the parents that leave lasting, negative impressions on the children.

We Want to Help You

At Christine M. Howard we want to help you end your marriage with as much dignity as possible. We know that is no easy task. But we believe through a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse can move on with your lives with your dignity in tact.

Uncontested Divorce: The Advantages

Uncontested Divorce: The Advantages

Divorce is never an easy or simple thing. When deciding to end your marriage there is often a lot of emotion and stress involved. We want to help you process your divorce quickly and with as much dignity as possible. In last month’s blog we talked about an uncontested divorce being an option for those who want to divorce with dignity. In an uncontested divorce a couple has spent a year in separation and have come to an agreement on all of the issues surrounding their divorce often through a separation agreement. This process is one of the best ways to divorce with dignity. Here we want to list some of the advantages of an uncontested divorce.

Advantage #1: Cost

One advantage to an uncontested divorce is the cost. In most cases all you will end up having to pay is the fee to file with the court. Even if you have attorneys involved costs can be reduced if you and your spouse can come to an agreement easily.

Advantage #2: Less Stress

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages is less stress on both parties. Divorce in general can be stressful. It can be stressful for a couple to try to figure out how to do life without each other. In contested divorces, a couple is looking for the court to decide on the outcome. But in an uncontested divorce there is less time in court because the couple has already been able to come to an agreement on their divorce. This means there is less time dealing with the court, which means less stress and more dignity.

Advantage #3: More Private

Even though the agreements that you and your spouse come to are filed with the court and become public record, the disclosures you’ve made to one another do not need to be public. And because you spend less time dealing with the court, there is less information available anyway. This means a couple can move on with their lives without everything being made public.

Contact Us

Contact Christine M. Howard Law if you would like to learn more about uncontested divorce.


Divorce with Dignity: Separation and Uncontested Divorce

Divorce with Dignity: Separation and Uncontested Divorce

The state of South Carolina recognizes five grounds for divorce. The main four are: adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse, and physical cruelty. These four grounds all require proof in order for the divorce to be processed.

The final ground for divorce recognized in South Carolina is one year of separation. This fifth ground requires that a couple be separate for at least a year before they file for what is known as an uncontested divorce. Divorce in general is often an emotional and very difficult process. Emotions run high and things can get messy very quickly. For couples who want to divorce without all of the stress and mess, an uncontested divorce following a separation is an excellent way to divorce with dignity.

Separation and Separation Agreements

In order to file for an uncontested divorce, a couple must be separated for at least a year. During a separation a couple is able to spend time apart to see if divorce is really the right option for them before deciding to officially end the marriage.

A year of separation also gives the couple time to work out any issues that might come up in a divorce with a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a contract between a couple when they agree to separate as they think through the possibility of divorce. This agreement allows the couple to work out any issues with their finances, dividing up property, and coming to an agreement on custody and parenting issues.

Divorce with Dignity: Uncontested Divorce

Because of the separation agreement, a year of separation helps a couple work out any issues so that they can file for an uncontested divorce easily. An important part of an uncontested divorce is that the couple agrees on all of the issues with their divorce. They agree on how to divide finances, how to take care of their children, and any other issues that may come up. Because of a separation agreement, a couple has already been able to work these issues out. So, an uncontested divorce can be processed quickly and with as much dignity as possible.

Contact Us

If you would like to know more about uncontested divorce and separation agreements, please contact Christine M. Howard Law and we would be happy to work with you!


Simple Divorce

Simple Divorce

Divorce is a messy and difficult situation. There is often a lot of pain and heartbreak involved. Many couples want to be able to divorce quickly, quietly, and with as much dignity as possible. Christine M. Howard strives to help couples achieve this through a simple divorce.

What is a Simple Divorce?

A simple divorce, also known as an uncontested divorce, is an easy way for divorcing couples to divorce with dignity. In a simple divorce, a couple has come to an agreement on all of the issues regarding the divorce including:

  • How to divide property
  • Custody and parenting responsibilities
  • Child support or spouse support

The couple files the agreement with the court. The judge reviews everything and grants the divorce. A simple, uncontested divorce is usually done without many hearings. It is a simple, streamlined process that allows a couple to divorce quickly, quietly, and with dignity.

What are the benefits of a Simple Divorce?

A simple divorce has many benefits including:

  • Costs: A simple divorce is often the cheapest way for a couple to divorce.
  • Quicker process: A simple divorce is a very quick process since a couple has already decided on all of the issues in their divorce.
  • Less conflict: Because there are fewer court proceedings there are also fewer opportunities for conflict throughout the process.
  • More private: Also because there are fewer proceedings and because the process is quicker there is also less information open to the public. This allows a couple to move on with their lives quietly and with dignity.

We to help you work through your divorce quickly, quietly and with dignity. If you think a simple divorce might be the right option for you, please contact Christine M. Howard.

Separation Agreement

Separation Agreement

One of our core values is Divorce with Dignity. Divorce is often messy and emotional, and we are here to help you make this process as easy as possible. One thing many couples find to be helpful is to separate before they actually file for divorce. Separating can be seen as a trial run of sorts. Sometimes what a couple really needs is time away from each other to see if divorce is really an option. Instead of just rushing into a divorce, separating gives couples a chance to slowly think through whether divorce is truly the right option for them. If at the end of the separation period the couple still decides to divorce, separation gives them the opportunity to slowly move into divorce with dignity. An important part of a separation is a Separation Agreement.

What is a Separation Agreement

Simply put, a Separation Agreement is a contract between a couple when they agree to separate as they think through the possibility of divorce. During a separation many of the same issues of a divorce arise. Couples have to work out how they will split property, how they will resolve any financial issues, and most importantly issues regarding their children. A Separation Agreement gives couples the opportunity to settle these issues with dignity.

Separation Agreements Allow for Clarity

An important factor for divorce and separation is clear communication. Even a separation can be a very emotional time for both husband and wife. Many times communication for what each party is expecting from the other is not always clear. This can make the separation process very stressful and painful for both. One way to help couples navigate a separation with dignity is through a Separation Agreement.

Separation Agreements Allow for Flexibility

Separation Agreements give couples the flexibility to resolve and come to an agreement on different issues. Couples are able to work together to come up with solutions that they both agree on. Again, these solutions are clearly laid out so that both party knows what is expected of each other. Every couple is unique. Every couple has unique issues that need to be addressed. And every couple is given the opportunity to come up with a unique solution for those issues in a Separation Agreement.

Separation Agreements Allow for Privacy

Part of Divorce or Separation with Dignity is trying to keep things as private as possible. A Separation Agreement allows a couple to resolve their issues privately. Couples decide on the agreement themselves and are able to privately resolve their issues.

Separate with Dignity. Divorce With Dignity

A helpful first step for couples looking to divorce with dignity is a period of separation. Separating for a certain amount of time gives a couple the chance to work through their issues and see if divorce is truly the option for them. Separation gives a couple the chance to slowly move into divorce with dignity. A Separation Agreement is a crucial part of separation because it allows couples the clarity, flexibility, and privacy they need to separate with dignity.

Contact Us

If you need help drawing up a fair Separation Agreement, contact Christine M. Howard Law.






Child Visitation During Summer Break

Child Visitation During Summer Break

During the school year, school schedules and activities help dictate your child’s visitation schedule. But when the school bell rings on the last day of school, your once predictable visitation schedule often evaporates. And unless you and your co-parent have a cooperative, amiable relationship, the summer months can be a stressful season spent haggling over visitation days or weeks, spoiling the summer months for both your children and you.

Here are some helpful tips to help you navigate summer break visitation.

Update your parenting plan

If your current parenting plan doesn’t spell out how to handle summer break visitations (or simply no longer works for you, your co-parent, or your children), it’s probably time to have your attorney help you draw up a new parenting plan. The needs or interests of your children likely have changed as they’ve grown older. Or maybe the job situation for either you or your co-parent could has changed, or one of you has moved away, making it difficult to maintain your parenting plan during the school year, let alone the summer months. To be rigidly held to an outdated parenting agreement that doesn’t address the summer months or your family’s changed situation causes a lot of unnecessary stress for everyone.

Your attorney can help you amend your parenting agreement to suit the current needs of both your children and you or your co-parent. Be sure to revisit the agreement over the years as your children or your situation changes. Especially if the relationship between you and your co-parent is fragile or fraught with tension, having a legal document that spells out how to handle the summer months will ease the stress so that everyone can breathe a little easier.

Plan ahead

While every parenting plan is different, most spell out only how much time the children spend with each parent; they don’t specify the exact weeks. If this is your situation, you and your co-parent should start planning for the summer months as early in the year as possible. Making two sets of vacation plans, family reunions, and the kids’ summer camp weeks fit into one summer season could take some time. In addition, many camps and some vacation trips require advance booking. The earlier you start talking about summer visitation, the more time you and your co-parent have to discuss your wishes and to work out a compromise if you cannot agree.

Be supportive

No matter how you feel about your co-parent, when it comes time for your children to stay with him or her, be positive and encouraging. Your child needs a healthy relationship with both of her parents. Encourage her to have a great time; she may feel guilty about leaving you for the other parent’s house if she thinks you are sad or upset about it. If she is struggling with being away from you, let her know that you’re only a phone call, text, or video call away. Conversely, if you are the parent being visited, ensure that she knows you will give her the opportunity to contact the other parent.

If you are the parent being visited and your child seems unhappy to be with you, be patient and don’t take it personally. Children, especially younger ones, often need transition time to adjust to the different routine and home. Offering your unconditional love and understanding (instead of getting upset with your child) will often shorten the time it takes him to adjust.

If part of your visitation includes a trip away, be considerate of your co-parent and respect his or her right to know where your child will be and when. Provide your co-parent with a specific itinerary and let them know how to contact your child. When your co-parent knows the logistics of the trip, he or she will not only feel more comfortable but will likely be more supportive and cooperative.

Contact Us

If you need help drawing up a fair, comprehensive parenting plan, or if you need to amend your existing plan, contact Christine M. Howard Law.