3 Tips for a Paying a Low South Carolina Estate Tax

You love your family more than anything, and you want to ensure that they have every opportunity to thrive–even after you are gone.

Life happens in the blink of an eye. You have no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow, but you can take steps to protect your family in the future with your estate. 

Of course, it is not as simple as naming your family members as beneficiaries of your assets. You also have to deal with the South Carolina estate tax.

Here are three tips to help you sidestep the estate tax and ensure that your family gets the maximum benefit. 

Generation-Skipping

Generation-skipping, sometimes done via a generation-skipping trust, is when you transfer a portion of your estate assets to your grandchildren rather than passing the assets to your children. 

Typically, your assets are taxed twice on the way to your grandchildren: first, when they pass from you to your children (second generation), and again when your children later transfer them to their children (third generation). 

Generation-skipping sidesteps the intermediate tax. The downside, of course, is that your children cannot access assets that get designated to your grandchildren (which your children may not be happy about). 

Most people take a moderate approach. They designate as many assets to their children as they think they will need and elect the excess be apportioned to their grandchildren. 

Lifetime Gifts

If you are not entirely comfortable with generation-skipping, you can take a more proactive approach with lifetime gifts to your children and grandchildren.

This is precisely what it sounds like: rather than waiting for your assets to pass when you die, you directly gift part of your assets to your children and grandchildren. 

Every year, a person can make a gift of up to $12,000 without incurring a gift tax. If both you and your spouse give the maximum amount, you can collectively gift away $24,000 per year per recipient. This gift, in turn, reduces your taxable estate. 

It does require you to be comfortable giving away a portion of your assets while you are still alive–or have the financial bandwidth to do so. If you are worried about running out of money, though, this may not be the right choice for you, as it is inordinately difficult to reclaim this money once you have gifted it away.

Put Your Assets in a Trust

Ultimately, the only real way to protect your whole estate against taxes is to put it in a trust, though most people are wary of this option since it signs control of your assets over to someone else. 

First, keep in mind that there are many different types of trusts you can create, and you can designate almost anyone to manage the trust for you, including a family member. 

If you do decide to establish a trust, though, it is essential to work with an estate planner, as there are many rules and exemptions attached to trusts that you may not be aware of. 

Need Help Figuring Out South Carolina Estate Tax?

At Indigo Family Law, we know that family is the only thing that matters. We also know that time flies, especially for busy parents.  That is why we are here to help you figure out the South Carolina estate tax–or whatever else you might need.

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your options, use our contact page to get in touch.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

South Carolina Child Support Laws: 5 Things You Need to Know

With divorce and children, the result is that one parent is generally going to get the child the majority of the time. And the other parent will have to pay child support.

Of course, there are scenarios where this is not the case, such as when parents get a 50-50 times-sharing split.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know about child support in South Carolina.

1. How is Child Support Calculated in South Carolina?

When the judge orders child support, both parent’s incomes are calculated. SC child support guidelines consist of a formula that calculates the child support payments.

This formula includes how many children there are, the monthly income of both parents, work-related child care costs, health care expenses, whether one parent has to pay alimony to the other parent or someone else, and so on.

2. Can I Deviate from the SC Child Support Guidelines?

Yes, there are circumstances when you can deviate from the child support guidelines. Not every family has the same situation so there may be factors that can reduce the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.

For instance, if you have education expenses, consumer debts, a disparity in income, the child works, or if you have six or more children, then you may get a lower child support obligation than you might expect due to a simple formula or standard.

3. How Long Do I Have to Pay Child Support in South Carolina?

If you’re ordered to pay child support in South Carolina, then you’ll have to pay this until the child turns 18 years old. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For instance, you may still have to pay until your child graduates from high school. If your child is 19 and still hasn’t graduated, then you no longer have to pay child support.

Also, if your child gets emancipated before turning 18, then you no longer have child support obligations.

But if your child is disabled, then you’ll have to continue child support even after he or she turns 18 years old.

4. What Happens if I Don’t Pay Child Support in South Carolina?

If the court orders you to pay child support and you willfully refuse to, then you can be held in contempt by the court. You may also receive fines for the other party’s court and attorney’s fees.

You can also have your license suspended and passport denied. In worst case scenarios, you can even receive jail time.

5. Can I Modify Child Support in South Carolina?

Yes, either party can request the court to modify child support to either increase or decrease the obligation. There are different situations where the judge grants one.

For instance, if you lost your job and now have a lower paying job, then you can ask for a decrease. Just be sure that you don’t quit or get fired on purpose to find lower-paying work because this can backfire on you.

Also, if you end up getting a higher paying job, then the other party can ask to increase the child support amount.

Following South Carolina Child Support Laws

If you are recently divorced or are currently going through one, then you may find the South Carolina child support laws to be a bit confusing.

This is why you should seek the counsel of a family law attorney. 

Contact us now for help!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Consequences of Adultery: 4 Ways It Could Impact Your Divorce

When people get married, they hope it will last a lifetime. Unfortunately for some, this is not the case. Some studies show 40 to 50 percent of marriages will ultimately end in divorce

Dealing with the dissolution of a marriage can be hard, but adultery often makes it far worse.

In the state of South Carolina, adultery and divorce are treated differently than in other states. A claim of adultery can have adverse consequences when it comes to divorce settlements.

If you believe your spouse has committed adultery, continue reading to learn the four consequences of adultery.

1. Adultery Can Cut the Time it takes to Divorce in South Carolina

Adultery is considered to be “fault-based” grounds for divorce. When a spouse has proof of infidelity, South Carolina adultery laws allow for a quicker divorce. In some cases, the marriage can be dissolved in as little as 90-days.

This double speed timeline is beneficial to the spouse that has been cheated on because they can bypass legal separation requirements that apply to some no-fault divorce cases.

A fault-based adultery divorce is not as simple as making an accusation, however. There is a burden of proof that has to be satisfied. The petitioner has the burden of proving adultery took place, and the accused naturally may have an interest in showing that it did not.

2. Is Adultery a Crime?

Some people ask is adultery a crime. If you ever consider committing adultery, make sure you don’t live in a state where it is illegal. There are about 20 states where adultery can leave you with a criminal record if pursued.

South Carolina is one of them. Although the chances of being prosecuted are highly unlikely, you could spend up to six months in jail and pay a $500 fine.

3. Consequences of Adultery Affect the Right to Alimony

When most people think of cheating spouses, they immediately believe it was the husband. Conversely, in terms of alimony, the stereotype is of a woman who gave up her chance at a career to stay at home and raise the kids.

The truth is BOTH men and women cheat. Regardless of which way adultery and divorce play out, a person who commits adultery may not be entitled to receive alimony. Forfeiture of alimony is one of the many consequences of infidelity.

4. Division of Property can be Impacted

South Carolina adultery laws may be favorable to the spouse filing for divorce if adultery is at the heart of the break-up. In such cases, the judge has the discretion to assign less of the marital debt and a larger percentage of marital assets to the party harmed by the infidelity.

Are You Dealing with Adultery in Your Marriage?

Divorces are often the ultimate consequences of adultery. If your marriage is beyond reconciliation, you will need an attorney to help you navigate through the process.

Where children are involved, you will want a law firm that specializes in family law.

Click here to schedule a consultation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Everything You Need to Know About Alimony in SC

Are you going through a divorce in South Carolina?

Have you been divorced in South Carolina?

If you said yes to either of these questions, you’ll have considered the possibility of alimony.

If you were providing financial support during the marriage, you might have to continue to do so.

In this post, we will explain how alimony in SC works.

All About Alimony in SC

Confused about all the legal jargon and complications surrounding alimony? Read our quick, handy guide.

How Much is it?

There is no definitive formula for calculating how much alimony should be.

The amount is decided by a judge and is dependent on several factors. These can include the length of your marriage, the earning ability of each spouse, assets, health conditions, and who was at fault for the divorce.

When is Alimony Paid?

The typical alimony payment occurs on an ongoing monthly basis. However, it may also be paid in a lump sum, or in other installments.

In some cases, rehabilitative alimony is paid for a certain period of time. This alimony structure is often prescribed in cases where a spouse needs to gain skills or education in order to increase their earning potential.

Once the necessary courses or training programs required in the rehabilitative alimony decision have been completed, this kind of alimony stops.

Who Pays Alimony?

Alimony is paid to the spouse who was supported financially during the marriage. It’s usually received by the spouse who has child custody, especially if they are not expected to work full-time.

Most commonly, women are the recipients. Only 3% of people who receive alimony are men.

Marital misconduct can affect the outcome of a case. For example, if a spouse commits adultery, they’re not eligible to receive alimony under South Carolina law.

How Long is Alimony Paid for?

Alimony is usually paid until a spouse remarries or cohabits with a new partner for 90 days or more. In some cases, a spouse can receive alimony for the rest of their life.

Is Alimony Fixed?

Alimony agreements are not set in stone.

There are certain situations which are causes for alimony modification. For example, if the provider’s financial situation changes for the worse, they can request for the amount to be decreased. Likewise, the recipient can request an increase if they find themselves in financial difficulty.

If a judge decides that alimony is no longer necessary, it can also be stopped altogether.

Changes can be permanent or temporary. Either way, they need to be approved by a judge.

Is Alimony Taxed?

Those who receive alimony must pay tax on it, and include it in their income when filing their taxes.

Alimony is tax deductible for providers. However, this is due to change for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018.

Read the IRS guidelines for alimony for more details on tax and alimony.

Ask the Experts

When you are going through a divorce, it is essential that you have an attorney on your side.

At Indigo Family Law, we are experts in alimony in SC. We will guide you through the legal process, advise you on the best course of action, and fight for your rights in the courtroom to make sure you get the best possible outcome.

To see how we can help you, contact us for a consultation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.