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Protecting Yourself from Paternity Fraud

Protecting Yourself from Paternity Fraud

Paternity
Being a father comes with a lot of responsibilities. Legally, fathers are obligated to provide care, shelter, and financial support for their children. In the case of a married couple, the husband is assumed by the court to be the child’s father. For unmarried couples, paternity may be legally established by an affidavit of paternity. This is a legal document which certifies that the man is the biological father of the child. Family courts in South Carolina use paternity affidavits or birth certificates as legal proof of a child’s paternity. Paternity fraud is when a men has been falsely identified as a child’s biological father. If the man is married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, or if he has signed a paternity affidavit, courts will…
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Understanding How to Legally Change Your Name

Understanding How to Legally Change Your Name

Name Changes
There are several reasons that a person may want to legally change his or her name. While this process is fairly straightforward, the court will ultimately take into account the reasoning behind the requested name change. To ensure that you are in compliance with South Carolina state laws, it is important to work with an attorney who has experience with name changes and the different situations which are applicable to them. What are the Most Common Reasons for Name Changes?  The most common reasons people request a name change is following a marriage, divorce, or for personal reasons such as a gender change. For people who wish to change their name for personal reasons, they will have to file a petition with the court. They may also attend a hearing…
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Should You Consider Family Law Mediation?

Should You Consider Family Law Mediation?

Mediation
A divorce is one of the most emotionally exhausting processes that a couple can go through. During this stressful time, making rational decisions is often easier said than done. Many couples end up disagreeing on at least one thing during a divorce case, and often these conflicts must be resolved in court. There are alternatives to litigation, however, which allow couples to work out their differences in a more peaceful manner. Family law mediation with an experienced Beaufort attorney is an excellent way for couples to come together in a neutral environment and find solutions to their issues in a calm manner. Mediation is a great tool for many couples facing complex family changes including divorce, child custody, alimony, and asset division. While mediation can be a fantastic solution, it…
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Divorce 101: How to Have a Successful Divorce Case

Divorce 101: How to Have a Successful Divorce Case

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Choosing to file for divorce is a hefty decision that involves a lot of financial and emotional stress. As your case begins, it is important to maintain a level head in order to increase your chances of reaching a successful outcome. If you want to have a smooth divorce case that ends in your favor, it is vital to keep these tips in mind. Take account of your needs: Divorce cases are rarely cut and dry. This means that emotions are usually running high-whether those are feelings of anger, sadness, or frustration. When you decide to file for a divorce, it is important to first take account of your needs and methods you will use to cope with stress. If you begin the process with a plan to remain level-headed,…
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CHILD ADOPTION IN BEAUFORT SC

CHILD ADOPTION IN BEAUFORT SC

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When practicing primarily in the South Carolina Family Court, a majority of what we do involves representing clients in bitterly disputed litigation in which there are no winners, and if children are in any way involved, they are generally the ones who lose out. Adoptions are the exception to this unfortunate reality, and adoption proceedings are some of the most rewarding and gratifying cases that we as attorneys could ever be involved with. Adoptions are generally joyous occasions that expand or complete a family unit and rival childbirth in terms of their celebratory effect. Tens of thousands of adoptions take place in the United States every year. Adoption generally requires the participation of both the birth mother and biological father of the child, although there are exceptions to this when…
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GUARDIAN AD LITEM – FENDER LAW IN BEAUFORT SC

GUARDIAN AD LITEM – FENDER LAW IN BEAUFORT SC

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Over the past years, Guardians ad Litem have taken on an ever increasing role in the South Carolina Court System. When an infant, minor, child, or otherwise incapacitated person can’t represent themselves, the court will usually appoint a “Guardian ad Litem”, or “guardian of the suit” to represent the child or persons best interests and help preserve their rights and well-being for a specified duration of time. South Carolina Family Courts often appoint Guardians ad Litem in cases including Divorce with Child Custody, Adoption, Child Support, and Emancipation. A Guardian ad Litem works for the Court, on behalf of the “ward” for a certain duration of time, which is usually confined to the pendency of litigation. Guardians Ad Litem are not to be confused with a “Guardian of the person”,…
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RIGHTS OF UNMARRIED FATHERS

RIGHTS OF UNMARRIED FATHERS

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“Your daddy never, meant to hurt you ever’ ‘He just don’t live here, but you’ve got his eyes” John Prine…  Unwed Fathers There was an interesting, and somewhat concerning, article in the news paper this past weekend about the number of unwed mothers giving birth in the various parts of South Carolina.  According to several statistics, upwards of 50% of births in South Carolina are to unmarried parents.  This raises several issues related to a father’s rights concerning a child, when he and the mother were never married. This is really a tough situation that many unwed South Carolina fathers find themselves in and which The Fender Law Firm fields questions on a weekly basis.  It can be confusing and frustrating for unmarried fathers to navigate the South Carolina legal…
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FAMILY LAW IN BEAUFORT SC

FAMILY LAW IN BEAUFORT SC

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Family Law involves family matters and domestic relations, which can include marriage, divorce, abuse, child custody, guardianship, adoptions and a wide range of other circumstances in which it’s great to have legal guidance. This body of law defines familial relations, attaches legal consequences and directs the transitions of individuals into new family formations. Family Law is all about relationships, whether that be between a parent and child, spouses or families. Complicated issues that require a judicial involvement means finding a great lawyer to give important legal advice and help resolve the issues during the difficult time. If you’re in the Beaufort SC area and need asistance or have questions regarding Family Law, Fender Law Firm is here to help. As a third generation practice, we offer the best legal advice and guidance in…
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Newest Member of Team Fender Law Firm

Newest Member of Team Fender Law Firm

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Everyone please make welcome the newest member of the Fender Law Firm team. Say “hi” Bosco. He wanted me to pass along He looks forward to joining Tracy and myself in zealously representing our clients. Thinking were going to put him in charge of the PR department for the time being.
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WHO CAN PROSECUTE CASES IN THE MAGISTRATE COURTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA?

WHO CAN PROSECUTE CASES IN THE MAGISTRATE COURTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA?

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Obviously Solicitors and County Attorneys have the authority to prosecute cases at the Magistrate court level, but what about the officer that did the investigation and made the arrest?  Even a more interesting question is what about an officer from the arresting department who was not involved in either the investigation or the arrest? There is an Attorney General’s opinion regarding this question, and while this opinion would not supersede a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, this document does provide a wealth of information regarding the proposed question. The question posed in the opinion was, “whether a deputy sheriff who conducts the investigation should be the officer prosecuting the case in magistrate’s court.”  My interest in this topic has led me to take this analysis one step further…
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