Divorce Attorney in Columbia SC

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If there were one universal truth" it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes" those changes are happy" like when a new baby is born. Other times" these changes involve uncertainty and loss" like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce" deal with a complicated custody issue" or are handling a different family-related legal matter" you might need help. At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future" leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children" their marriage" or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety" having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Columbia" SC" can help" whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families" from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients" and with a dedicated focus" stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Columbia. If you're looking for personal attention" unbiased representation" and a responsive family law attorney" look no further than our law firm.

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If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Columbia" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above" know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side" you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience" are incredibly responsive" and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

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Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases" including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation" it's time to call Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers" not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law" keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Columbia" SC.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we know all-too-well that a "one size fits all" approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

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Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together" our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states" South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Columbia" SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Attorney Columbia, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Columbia" our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody" alimony" and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period" Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case" should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Columbia

A divorce in Columbia means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties' debts and assets" determines child support and custody parameters" and can establish alimony. At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources" avoid trial" and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes" however" two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations" a trial is possible" and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Columbia" SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

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1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching" difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child" and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law" child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

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2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states" a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make" the cost of childcare" and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina" there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However" courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed" how much alimony should be paid" and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony" how long the marriage lasted" and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing" there are different alimony types" including lump sum" rehabilitative" and reimbursement.

 Attorney Columbia, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina" marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce" the courts will order an equitable division of property" meaning "fair" under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

 Divorce Lawyer Columbia, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Columbia" SC

As mentioned above" decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents" both emotionally and legally. As experienced" empathetic divorce lawyers" we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles" we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs" to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce" we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina" child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition" child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has" to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same" but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes" as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution" their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the "best interests" of the child. What the judge determines to be the "best interests" changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of "custody" in South Carolina (or custody arrangements)" each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

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Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Columbia" SC

When children are involved in divorce cases" child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered" like the income-earning potential of the child's parents" any custody arrangements that are created" and what needs the child may have.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation" going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Columbia for representation" we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day" our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you" so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Columbia" SC

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors" like the income of both spouses" how long they were married" and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support" trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC" your family law attorney in Columbia" SC" will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

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  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates" when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Columbia" SC

When there are no children" marital property" or issues of alimony" divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However" most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically" divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property" real estate" family businesses" debts" out-of-state property" debts" bank accounts" and more.

In these nuanced situations" the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like Cobb Dill & Hammett" LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property" certain types of properties that are controversial" even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state" meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce" it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

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Pensions

Pensions:

Generally" pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder" South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it" with future distribution available. Otherwise" a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home" or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple" is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating" especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities" it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Columbia, SC

Here are 5 Juneteenth 2022 Columbia area events to celebrate the holiday

Columbia residents won’t need to travel far to enjoy a variety of Juneteenth events this weekend.Juneteenth, which falls on Sunday this year, recognizes June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX to tell slaves there that the Civil War was over and they were free. The day has been celebrated ever since, but only became an official federal holiday on June 16, 2021.While the federal holiday falls on Sunday, most federal employees will have a day off on Monday.If you’re looking for...

Columbia residents won’t need to travel far to enjoy a variety of Juneteenth events this weekend.

Juneteenth, which falls on Sunday this year, recognizes June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX to tell slaves there that the Civil War was over and they were free. The day has been celebrated ever since, but only became an official federal holiday on June 16, 2021.

While the federal holiday falls on Sunday, most federal employees will have a day off on Monday.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Juneteenth in the Columbia area, try one or more of these five events.

When: Saturday at 12 p.m.

Where: Charles W. Johnson Stadium at 1920 Two Notch Road

Come out for a day of celebration and education for the 6th Annual Juneteenth Freedom Festival. This family-friendly community event will include activities and resources, such as historical awareness and reenactment fair rides and fireworks. The will be live music and an award ceremony honoring key figures in the South Carolina Black community.

There will also be retail and food vendors, help with voter registration, along with health information including COVID testing, sickle cell awareness and other seminars.

Entry tickets will cost $25 each.

When: Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Historic Harriet Barber House & Grounds, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC

Drive just a few miles outside of downtown Columbia for the Juneteenth Celebration at the historic Harriet Barber House in Hopkins. There will be family fun and games, live entertainment, vendors, exhibits, the American Inventors Museum, presentations and more.

Admission is free.

When: Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 1515 Main Street

In celebration of Juneteenth, the Columbia Museum of Art will offer free admission for the day. Beginning at 1 p.m., take a guided tour of Black art in the museum’s collection with Dr. Nancy Tolson, CMA commissioner and University of South Carolina assistant director of African American Studies.

Self-guided tours will be available all day. All tours will be presented in partnership with the Friends of African American Art and Culture.

When: Saturday at 8 a.m.

Where: Semmes Lake next to Marion Street Station at 4522 Marion Ave.

Come participate in a family fun run/ walk 5K in celebration of Juneteenth. For registration information, call Pam Long at 803-751-3700.

When: Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: EdVenture museum at 211 Gervais St.

The EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia is hosting a Juneteenth event featuring story tellers, a live painting demonstration by Gullah artist Amira Farris, live music, poetry and information on the history of sweet grass baskets.

The events are free with museum admission.

This story was originally published June 17, 2022 5:00 AM.

Carolina Precision Foods, LLC establishing operations in Florence County

$10 million investment to create 402 new jobs COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carolina Precision Foods, LLC – a joint venture of Carolina Fresh Foods and owners of Lake Foods – today announced plans to establish operations in Florence County. The company’s $10 million investment will create 402 new jobs.Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is a poultry further processing company that specializes in deboning, portioning, marination, custom further processing and mechanically separating...

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Carolina Precision Foods, LLC – a joint venture of Carolina Fresh Foods and owners of Lake Foods – today announced plans to establish operations in Florence County. The company’s $10 million investment will create 402 new jobs.

Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is a poultry further processing company that specializes in deboning, portioning, marination, custom further processing and mechanically separating food.

Located at 2901 W. Darlington Street in Florence, Carolina Precision Foods, LLC’s new facility will partner with regional poultry processors in custom further processing of poultry products.

Operations are expected to be online in August 2022.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.

QUOTES

“We are excited to become a member of Florence County and the Pee Dee Region. With over 65 million pounds of poultry processed weekly within two hours of Florence, this was the perfect location for our plant. With Interstates 20 and 95 at our doorstep, fresh chicken from Carolina Precision Foods can be processed for over 19 million consumers in a day. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Florence County!” -Carolina Precision Foods, LLC Chief Financial Officer Jim Robinson

“Agribusiness is one of our leading industries, and with our pro-business environment, it continues to grow at a rapid pace. We congratulate Carolina Precision Foods, LLC on their $10 million investment and look forward to the impact these 402 new jobs will have on Florence County.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“South Carolina is home to a dynamic roster of agribusiness companies, and we are proud that Carolina Precision Foods, LLC is joining that list. We welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to Florence County and look forward to the positive impact they will make in the local community and beyond.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are excited to welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to the state of South Carolina. Their operation will offer additional processing opportunities to our state’s poultry growers. We look forward to the continued growth of our state’s agribusiness industry.” -South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers

“We are thrilled to welcome Carolina Precision Foods, LLC to Florence County and are excited about the 402 new jobs they will create for our community. It is clear that food and beverage companies continue to find Florence County as the right place to do business.” -Florence County Council Chairman Willard Dorriety Jr.

Where to Eat, Drink, Sleep, and Explore in Columbia, South Carolina

When I told some friends I was visiting South Carolina recently, they immediately assumed I was heading to the beach. Charleston, maybe? Myrtle Beach? Any of the many other quaint ...

When I told some friends I was visiting South Carolina recently, they immediately assumed I was heading to the beach. Charleston, maybe? Myrtle Beach? Any of the many other quaint beach towns the state is known for?

All good guesses, and all great places to visit. But I was actually on my way to Columbia. “And it will actually be my third visit,” I added.

You could see some surprise momentarily cross the faces of these friends. And I get it, a few years ago the extent of my knowledge of Columbia, South Carolina came from memorizing the state capitals in elementary school. But as I’ve gotten to know the city, I’ve discovered that it’s so much more than another dot in the middle of a map. It’s a vibrant and underrated destination with tons of outdoor activities nearby.

Three trips in, it’s safe to say I have a soft spot for this city — here is my guide.

I lived in the south for five years after graduate school, and I still jump at any opportunity to go back for one big reason: the food. Nowhere else in the United States can quite compare to a Southern meal. But not just for the traditional biscuits and gravy or shrimp and grits – it’s all good. And Columbia didn’t disappoint. I found myself exclaiming at each meal that it was “the best meal I have ever had” and not hyperbolically.

Meals are events in South Carolina and I was happy to indulge.

I walked to dinner at Black Rooster on my first night in town. A “Frenchish” restaurant in West Columbia, Black Rooster combines French preparation and techniques with local and international cuisines. I started with a cheese plate and some bubbles while enjoying the ambiance and view. I followed with the nightly special – a soft shell crab on a bed of Moroccan rice. It was one of the most interesting and tasty dishes I’ve had on the road in a long time.

Another memorable dining experience is just a short 15-mile drive outside of town in Lexington SC. Bodhi Thai is an elegant and innovative Modern Thai restaurant with impeccable service and atmosphere. I started with a fresh roll that lived up to its name, followed by the pan-seared scallops on a parsnip puree and was truly overwhelmed – in a great way – with the sophisticated and interesting flavors and presentation.

It can really only be described as *an experience.* And one I definitely recommend.

Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, which adds to the vibrancy and trendy feel of this decidedly southern locale. Nicknamed the Cola City, there is no shortage of watering holes in and outside the city limits.

Before dinner my first night in town I visited Savage Craft Ale Works for a rooftop drink and a sunset view. I was not disappointed – in the atmosphere or the beer. I’m not an IPA gal, but had a glass of Galaxy Banger Hazy IPA that came recommended and found myself reconsidering my entire beer history and preferences. It was tropical and refreshing – the perfect pour to relax outside on a warm summer night.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find some wineries in the region. While the spots I visited were quick to note that the soil and climate is not necessarily ideal for a wine region – it has only led to innovation and unique winemaking. I loved spending an afternoon at Mercer House Winery in Lexington – one of the most unique wineries I have ever visited (and I have visited many).

The winding road to Mercer House Winery was beautiful, although residential and unassuming. But after you walk past the gate things take a turn – literally. The property is gorgeous and eclectic, with wine tastings at a bar in a barn (making all my southern dreams come true).

I was the only person there for my first eight or so wine tastings. Yes, I said first eight – because there are 18 wines in a tasting – plus some you can add on to that if you dare. It’s definitely a place to sit and stay a while. The flavors were unlike any other wines I’ve tasted – lemon blueberry, honey lemon tea, and even a chocolate mango pinot grigio.

It’s, obviously, not an uptight place. I recommend trying at least one of the jalapeno “bumper juices” while you’re there and then spending some time sobering up while walking the gorgeous grounds.

My favorite spot to grab a glass of champagne in Columbia itself ended up being Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe, an outpost of the Charleston favorite with decadent desserts and a lively bar. Located right downtown and near my hotel, I was able to walk over, find a seat at the bar, and enjoy my book and drink with a side of chocolate cake. I can’t think of anything better.

On my last trip to Columbia I stayed in a great location downtown at Aloft Downtown. It was centrally located to everything I wanted to do in the downtown area and an easy drive to anything outside of town.

When I come back to town I’d like to try Graduate Columbia, a stylish and eclectic downtown option or Hotel Trundle, a historic boutique hotel downtown with a sleek 20’s art deco vibe.

There are also many quaint short-term rentals in Columbia that are extremely budget-friendly and Instagrammable. I really love this quaint tiny house near campus and this incredibly stylish treehouse with the perfect outdoor seating areas and hot tub.

The food might bring me to the south, but I keep coming back for outdoor recreation. Congaree National Park – one of the least visited and, in my opinion, underrated parks is less than 20 miles from downtown. Here you can hike, fish, camp, and canoe while marveling at expansive biodiversity and old-growth bottomland hardwood forest.

I’ve visited 57 of the 63 major US National Parks and have chosen to come back to Congaree not once but twice after my initial visit. It doesn’t have the towering granite or wide-open spaces of the western parks, but there’s something special about the forest canopy. The crowds are lighter and the landscape more delicate.

You have to pay attention at a place like this, and it’s the perfect place to take some deep breaths and truly forest bathe. I recommend going when the trees are green in the spring or early summer. And if you’re lucky you might catch the synchronous fireflies that blanket the park between mid-May and mid-June.

Another favorite in the area is Poinsett State Park – which is a bit further out of town, but the beautiful drive makes it more than worth it. Nicknamed the “Mountains of the Midlands”, I spent a low-key afternoon here kayaking and hiking. I’d love to go back and rent a cabin to spend more time exploring.

If you are looking for water, don’t be fooled by Colombia’s landlocked location in the middle of the state – it has plenty. Lake Murray is just outside Columbia, and at 41 miles long and 14 miles wide as its widest point – there is room for just about anything from boating, to paddleboarding, swimming, birdwatching to camping, and hiking (I recommend Dreher Island State Park).

It’s also home to one of the most fascinating natural wonders I’ve encountered while traveling – the Purple Martin Phenomenon. Every summer from late June to August around a million Purple Martins take a migration pit stop on Bomb Island on Lake Murray. I took a boat tour and the captain told me that they’ve been roosting on the island every year but one since at least the ’80s. No one seems to know exactly why – or why they stayed away that one summer – but the phenomenon is just the kind of magic I look for on these trips. Estimated to be the largest purple martin roost on the continent, you can book a boat tour to see for yourself.

7 Columbia SC high-ranked restaurants that still have reservations open for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner and restaurant reservations in the Columbia area have filled up fast.But not to worry!There are still some high-ranked restaurants in the city with reservations open on Father’s Day Sunday where you can take dear old dad, according to OpenTable. And there’s variety too, from Brazilian and Italian, to traditional American and seafood.So, how about forgoing the basic tie this year and gift your d...

Father’s Day is just around the corner and restaurant reservations in the Columbia area have filled up fast.

But not to worry!

There are still some high-ranked restaurants in the city with reservations open on Father’s Day Sunday where you can take dear old dad, according to OpenTable. And there’s variety too, from Brazilian and Italian, to traditional American and seafood.

So, how about forgoing the basic tie this year and gift your dad a tasty meal?

Here are 7 high-ranked restaurants in Columbia that still have open reservations for Father’s Day.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (2,961 reviews)

Cuisine: American, Southern

Address: 751 Saluda Ave.

Saluda’s can be found just steps away from the University of South Carolina’s campus in the heart of Five Points. Open since 1996, the restaurant offers a menu that mingles classically prepared dishes with cutting-edge techniques. The menu is built around mixing locally-grown seasonal and luxurious ingredients. Saluda’s offers Southern cuisine with French and Italian influences.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (3,126 reviews)

Cuisine: Contemporary American, fusion/creole, cajun, Southern

Address: 920 Gervais St.

For more than 20 years, Motor Supply has served New World cuisine, using classic French culinary techniques, in the historic Congaree Vista.

The kitchen’s handwritten menus change daily and feature contemporary American cuisine, with nods to creole, cajun, Southern, French and Asian styles.

The restaurant uses meats, dairy and produce from local, sustainable farms. Seafood is caught off the South Carolina coast. There’s also an extensive selection of wines, beer and cocktails available.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (358 reviews)

Cuisine: American

Address: 1621 Main St.

If you enjoy spending time on Main Street, then The Grand is the place for you. The restaurant offers a traditional fine dining experience. You can sip cocktails at the bar and then eat outside on Main Street or relax on the back patio. After your meal, take dad to The Grand’s boutique bowling alley or dessert lounge in the Robinson Room, found in a hidden lower level of the restaurant.

Rating: 4.5 out 5 (1,208 reviews)

Cuisine: American, seafood, steak

Address: 401 Main St.

Located in Union Station, a historic train station, California Dreaming offers a mix of American classic in a large, family-friendly atmosphere. Every dish is prepared from scratch daily, such as honey-butter croissants, baby back ribs and the California Dreaming Salad.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (281 reviews)

Cuisine: American, oyster bar

Address: 1643 Main St.

Smoked is an upscale fine dining restaurant in a reimagined 19th century mercantile that offers various seafood and pork dishes and steaks. There is also an oyster bar with a variety of offerings, from chargrilled oysters to ones with smoked pork and melted cheeses.

And inside Smoked in a microbrewery that rotates a selection of craft beers, ciders, seltzers and nitro coffees.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (1,269 reviews)

Cuisine: Brazilian

Address: 1508 Main St.

Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse offers a unique, all you can eat ‘Churrascaria,’ that features a full salad bar, 6 hot Brazilian-flavored dishes and a selection of 16 USDA Prime cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb sliced at your table. The restaurant offers outdoor seating on Main Street.

And along with a full bar, there’s a walk-in wine cellar with selections from Argentina, Chile and California.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (575 reviews)

Cuisine: Seafood

Address: 461-4 Town Center Place

The privately-owned Blue Fin describes itself as an upscale restaurant with a laid back atmosphere. The restaurant offers the taste of Charleston with a Metropolitan flair in Columbia.

The restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, from grilled salmon to pan seared bass. But it also offers steaks, pasta dishes, burgers and sandwiches.

This story was originally published June 16, 2022 10:40 AM.

SC working to boost school mental health services, more than half of schools lack counselor access

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - At a time when state leaders on both sides of the aisle say access to mental health services in schools is more important than ever, South Carolina is struggling to keep up with a growing need.A recent audit found most of the state’s public schools lack access to a counselor, and critical services like crisis counseling are even scarcer....

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - At a time when state leaders on both sides of the aisle say access to mental health services in schools is more important than ever, South Carolina is struggling to keep up with a growing need.

A recent audit found most of the state’s public schools lack access to a counselor, and critical services like crisis counseling are even scarcer.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order earlier this year, requesting that audit into school mental health services, and it was completed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which sets Medicaid reimbursement rates for these services.

According to DHHS, schools are facing a two-pronged issue: The need for mental health services among students continues to grow, while the number of counselors available to them has fallen.

“When you’re talking about a crisis with children, you’re talking about a crisis today, but you’re talking about a crisis that affects the future of the state,” DHHS Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeff Leieritz said.

The statewide audit found mental health services are currently available in fewer than half of South Carolina’s public schools at a ratio of one counselor for roughly every 1,300 students, which DHHS Director Robbie Kerr called “unacceptable” in his letter to McMaster, presenting the review’s findings.

“Our goal is to cut that ratio in half over the next year, and then eventually cut that in half again,” Leieritz said, adding their goal is to have a counselor in every school in the state.

Most of the state’s school-based counselors are employed through the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and the audit found the system is set up to incentivize schools to use these counselors.

The current Medicaid reimbursement rate that DMH-enrolled counselors receive, of $77 for a half-hour session, is more than double the $37 rate a private provider receives.

DHHS believes giving schools more freedom and choice to hire private counselors will help increase access to services, Leieritz said.

Among Kerr’s recommendations to improve these services, the department plans to eliminate those rate disparities, with increased rates for non-DMH counselors set to go into effect July 1.

“There are counselors out there now that could provide that service but don’t because of that rate disparity,” Leieritz said.

It also recommends using telehealth to increase access to services and considering a three-year phase-in to require school counselors to be fully licensed.

While that is already a requirement for private counselors who work in schools, DMH counselors are excepted from the requirement.

The audit also found the need for immediate crisis services is rising at schools.

But those services can be hard to come by, with counselors so stretched thin already, especially if they work in multiple schools, oftentimes leaving untrained teachers and school staff to respond.

DHHS hopes by increasing the number of counselors overall, it can free up more of them to handle crisis situations.

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