Family Lawyer ⋅ charleston, SC

Need a Family Lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina?

The Charleston, SC family lawyers at the Seaton & Duncan have the experience that you need to maximize your chances of success in your family law case, including:

  • Simple divorces,
  • Complex divorces,
  • Child support matters,
  • Child custody matters,
  • Alimony, and
  • Adoptions.

Family law matters like divorce and child custody often involve high-anxiety, stressful experiences, and you need a steady, calm, determined advocate who knows South Carolina family law inside and out to help you achieve your goals.

The family lawyers at the Seaton & Duncan will help you to identify your next steps, including which pleadings you must file, the courts you must file them in, the appropriate motions to file, and what you need to accomplish in negotiations to keep your case out of court whenever possible.

Whether your case calls for skillful negotiations or a more heavy-handed approach, the family lawyers at Seaton & Duncan will walk through the fire with you.

We will be with you every step of the way – answering your questions, negotiating on your behalf, and helping you to prepare for hearings or trial.

The Charleston, SC family lawyers at the Seaton & Duncan

care about you, your family, and your case.


When you call our office, we will:

  • Meet with you to learn about your case, answer your questions, identify your goals in your family court case, and help you to determine your next steps,
  • Prepare the pleadings needed to accomplish your goals, whether that is a divorce complaint, a petition for separate support and maintenance, or an action to enforce child support payments,
  • Serve the appropriate parties to the action,
  • Gather the evidence that we will need to prove your case,
  • Retain private investigators or expert witnesses as needed,
  • Negotiate the terms of a settlement agreement whenever possible, and
  • Represent your interests at mediation, motion hearings, and your final family court hearing.


The family lawyers at the Seaton & Duncan have the experience you need to

handle your family law case and achieve the best possible outcome given the facts of your case.

Whether you are preparing to file a divorce action, answering a divorce complaint that was served on you, seeking child support payments from your child’s other parent, or seeking to adopt a child into your family, we are committed to achieving your goals and protecting you and your children at every step of the process.

Worry Free

They are very good at what they do! Go see them today and be worry free!

– Kipp Cavadias

Great Lawyer

Great Lawyer, will definitely use again when needed. Thank You Beau!

– Charles McGee

Wonderful Lawyer

He truly cares about his clients!! A wonderful lawyer!!

– Lamarr Richardson

* The Rules of Professional Conduct require disclosure that this is a “Testimonial” about the attorney. Please be aware that any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Learn more about family court proceedings
in Charleston, South Carolina:

Pleadings in Charleston, South Carolina Family Court Cases

Most family court proceedings begin with the filing of a Summons and Complaint, which describes the type of action you are filing and the relief that you are requesting from the court.

This could include:

  • A divorce from your former spouse,
  • Child support payments from your child’s noncustodial parent,
  • A final adoption of a child into your family,
  • An action asking the court to give you custody of a child, or
  • A court action seeking to enforce a prior family court order.

Child Custody Actions in Charleston, South Carolina

Child custody can be sought as part of divorce proceedings or in a separate family court action, depending on the circumstances.

In either case, child custody is determined based on the best interest of the child after considering the statutory factors.

South Carolina Code § 63-15-230 says that the family court must “make the final custody determination in the best interest of the child based upon the evidence presented.”

South Carolina Code § 63-15-240(B) contains a list of factors that the court must consider when deciding the best interest of the child.

Divorce in Charleston, South Carolina

If you are seeking a divorce in Charleston, SC, the first step may be the filing of a divorce complaint that alleges one of the five grounds for divorce in SC:

  • One year’s continuous separation (a no-fault divorce),
  • Adultery,
  • Physical Cruelty,
  • Habitual drunkenness, or
  • Abandonment.

Once the Complaint has been filed and served on the defendant spouse, they must file an Answer within 30 days admitting or denying the claims and asserting any counterclaims.

Adoptions in Charleston, South Carolina

Family court is not just about divorce and child custody – if you are seeking to adopt a child in Charleston, SC, your family law attorneys at the Seaton & Duncan can help.

We are prepared to assist our clients in finalizing all types of adoptions, including:

  • Foster parent adoptions,
  • Relative adoptions,
  • Step-parent adoptions,
  • Grandchild adoptions,
  • Open adoptions,
  • Closed adoptions,
  • Private adoptions, and
  • Adoptions through adoption agencies.

Your family lawyer in Charleston, SC has years of experience successfully representing clients in Charleston, SC family court, including:


  • Filing complex and simple divorce proceedings,
  • Negotiating child custody, child support, alimony, and division of property issues to protect our clients’ interests,
  • Filing family court actions to enforce child custody, child support, and alimony orders,
  • Filing family court actions to modify child custody, child support, or alimony orders,
  • Finalizing adoptions,
  • Negotiating and drafting separation agreements and settlement agreements,
  • Assisting our clients in resolving their cases through mediation,
  • Litigating complex proceedings in South Carolina’s family courts,
  • Obtaining protective orders for vulnerable clients and their children, and
  • Trying complex family law cases that cannot be resolved through negotiations or mediation.

When you choose our Charleston, South Carolina family law attorneys to handle your case, you will receive personal attention directly from your lawyer.

We make communication with our clients a priority, will answer your questions, and will keep you up to date on what is happening in your case throughout the process.

Ready To Speak With An Attorney?

Let’s discuss the details of your case and see if we can help.

Common Questions About

What types of cases are family law?

Family law involves many different types of cases, including:

  • Divorces,
  • Child custody matters,
  • Child support,
  • Child visitation,
  • Alimony,
  • Division of marital property,
  • Name changes, and
  • Adoptions.


How can a family lawyer help with my child custody case?

Child custody matters may be the most important type of case that our clients bring to us.

Your family law attorney will:

  • Advise you as to the current South Carolina laws that apply to your situation,
  • Research each factor that the court will consider when deciding custody in your case and how each factor may apply to your circumstances,
  • Gather the evidence you will need to prove the child custody factors to the family court and assist you in retaining a private investigator or other expert witness when needed,
  • Draft the appropriate pleadings, which may be a divorce action, an action for separate support and maintenance, or a separate action for child custody, and
  • Present your evidence to the family court if a consent agreement is not reached.

How are family lawyers paid?

Most family law attorneys in Charleston, SC are paid on an hourly basis.

In most cases, you will need to pay a retainer that will cover a certain number of hours of work on your case. Your attorney will keep track of the time they spend on your case as well as any expenses, bill their time and expenses against your retainer, and, in some cases, require you to replenish the retainer once it has been used.


Do I need a family lawyer to adopt a child in South Carolina?

As with most family law issues, you do not need a family attorney to adopt a child, but it is strongly recommended that you retain an experienced Charleston, SC adoption lawyer before you begin the process.

Adoptions involve complex issues like locating and serving the correct parties to the adoption, obtaining consent agreements before your case goes to court, termination of parental rights, and name changes. A mistake made during adoption proceedings can expose your child to future problems like challenges to the adoption or to their right to inherit from their adopted parent(s).

Do I need a family lawyer when getting a divorce?

You have the right to represent yourself in the family court, even for matters as important and life-changing as a divorce.

That doesn’t mean that you should attempt to represent yourself, however. Most people will retain a Charleston, SC family lawyer to help them navigate the complexities of South Carolina’s family court law and procedures.