Divorce Attorney in Seabrook Island 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 Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island. 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 Seabrook Island" 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
Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island" SC include:

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

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island

A divorce in Seabrook Island 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 Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island, 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 Seabrook Island, 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 Seabrook Island, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Seabrook Island" 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.

Free Consultation
Estate Planning Law Seabrook Island, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island 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
Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island" 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 Seabrook Island" 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:

 Estate Planning Lawyer Seabrook Island, SC
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 Seabrook Island, SC

Columbia one of 4 SC places ranked as best Southern weekend getaways by Country Living magazine

Columbia made Country Living’s top 10 best Southern weekend getaways, coming in at No. 10 and beating out perennial list favorite Greenville (13), Lake Murray (18) and Seabrook Island (24).The magazine listed 30 places to consider spending a weekend instead of Charleston and Nashville.“Charleston and Nashville are fun, but it’s time to head somewhere new,”...

Columbia made Country Living’s top 10 best Southern weekend getaways, coming in at No. 10 and beating out perennial list favorite Greenville (13), Lake Murray (18) and Seabrook Island (24).

The magazine listed 30 places to consider spending a weekend instead of Charleston and Nashville.

“Charleston and Nashville are fun, but it’s time to head somewhere new,” the headline said.

About Columbia, the magazine said, “Pulsing with a vibrant, artsy energy, downtown Columbia is sprinkled with enough bakeries, boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops to set the backdrop for RGMs (Really Good Memories).”

The magazine said Columbia has a “Mayberry-esque” quality.

Recommendations included staying at the Inn at USC, “where you can spend hours relaxing on the wide wrap-around porch,” Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Alehouse, Old Mill Antique Mall in West Columbia, and Cafe Strudel.

The magazine said of Lake Murray, “Many people don’t know there’s 500 miles of undisturbed shoreline less than a half-hour drive outside of downtown Columbia. Many people are missing out.”

They called the lake an “idyllic getaway” and the state’s best-kept secret.

“You’ll find pristine views, hidden coves, and a glassy, peaceful lake,” the magazine said.

Highlighted were River Runner, Brickhouse Campground, The Rusty Anchor and Newberry Manor.

About Greenville, the magazine suggested boozy milkshakes at Grill Marks and a number of other restaurants such as Sidewall Pizza, Biscuit Head and The Anchorage. Falls Park and M.Judson Booksellers and Storytellers were highlighted, too.

Seabrook Island is a “quiet, laid-back sanctuary,” rife with the opportunity to beachcomb, watch dolphins, go crabbing, play pickleball or ride horses.

They suggested Water Dog for a stand-up paddleboarding tour.

“ If you’re feeling less-than-ambitious, try lazing around at your villa or townhouse rental (complete with ocean or tidal creek views),” the magazine said, before recommending “a night out on the town in Uber-able Charleston.”

Other areas in the top 10 were No. 1 Danville, Kentucky; followed by Hot Springs, Arkansas; Flat Rock, North Carolina; Bardstown, Kentucky; Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; Blowing Rock, North Carolina; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Charlottesville, Virginia and Islamorada, Florida.

This story was originally published May 20, 2022 11:27 AM.

Fox Chapel Sports Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2022

The Fox Chapel Area Schools Sports Hall of Fame has seven new members.The organization’s 25th induction banquet was held recently at the Harmar House where honorees ranged from a three-year starting football lineman at Penn State to a hometown District Justice.Miles Dieffenbach was a four-year starter for Fox Chapel’s football team and was named all-state in 2008 and ’09.He was rated the nation’s top center by ESPN and played in the Under Armour All-American game in Orlando, Fla.Dieffenbach...

The Fox Chapel Area Schools Sports Hall of Fame has seven new members.

The organization’s 25th induction banquet was held recently at the Harmar House where honorees ranged from a three-year starting football lineman at Penn State to a hometown District Justice.

Miles Dieffenbach was a four-year starter for Fox Chapel’s football team and was named all-state in 2008 and ’09.

He was rated the nation’s top center by ESPN and played in the Under Armour All-American game in Orlando, Fla.

Dieffenbach went on to Penn State where he lettered three times and started 27 games for the Nittany Lions.

He was named a Big Ten Conference Academic All-American from 2012-14.

Dieffenbach is now an investment manager for Carnegie Mellon.

Amanda Zambrano Daquelente excelled in soccer at Fox Chapel and at Franklin & Marshall College.

She scored 74 career goals while with the Foxes and was named all-WPIAL and all-state for the 2001 season.

At Franklin & Marshall, she tallied 40 career goals and was named four times to Centennial Conference academic honors. Zambrano Daquelente is now a partner in the Pittsburgh law firm of Meyer, Unkovic and Scott LLP.

Patrick Frank earned eight varsity letters in three sports — two in cross country, two in baseball and four in wrestling. He was a 1998 Valley News Dispatch all-star in wrestling and has officiated in the highest levels of the high school and collegiate wrestling ranks, including three NCAA Division I individual championships and three PIAA championships.

Frank also officiates high school football and baseball.

Jeff Armor lettered in soccer three times and earned all-WPIAL honors in 1981 and ’82. He went on to Lehigh University where he earned four soccer letters and captained the 1985 squad, scoring 12 goals and 14 assists while playing sweeper and defense.

Armor came back to Fox Chapel where he was an assistant to Erik Ingram from 2008-16. The Foxes made the WPIAL playoffs each of those seasons. He currently resides in Seabrook Island, S.C.

Reed Clarke came to Fox Chapel as an educator in 1966 and coached cross country for seven years, boys golf for nine years and girls golf for nine years.

He was, perhaps, most recognized as the scorekeeper at Fox Chapel basketball games from 1989-2017.

Clarke was a PIAA swimming official for 30 years and served on the board of directors for the Pittsburgh Youth Golf Foundation from 2006-12 and is a Tri-State PGA Golf Hall of Fame member.

Nadia Luttner is one of the most successful golfers in Fox Chapel history.

She was a four-year starter for the Foxes. As a freshman, Luttner helped the team to an undefeated season and was second in both the WPIAL and PIAA championships.

As a sophomore, she finished third in the state tourney, and the Foxes finished as WPIAL runner-up. In her junior season, both Luttner and the team were WPIAL runners-up.

She capped her high school career with a WPIAL team title and an individual silver medal.

She competed in college at Kansas and at Coastal Carolina.

Matthew Rudzki was an outstanding distance runner for the Foxes as a four-time letter winner in cross country, a three-time state qualifier and a two-time WPIAL medalist.

In track, he lettered three times, was a WPIAL medalist in the 3,200-meter run and was part of the team that set a school record in the distance medley relay.

At Washington & Jefferson College, he was a two-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference cross country individual champion, the first in school history.

Since then, he has traded his running shoes for a judicial robe, serving now as the magisterial district judge for the Fox Chapel area communities.

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Seabrook Island, SC Club Members Demand Change to Vaccine Mandate

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C., Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of Seabrook Island Club members were denied access to their private club's restaurant November 3 with the management citing club policies requiring members be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID – 19 test. They have formed 'The Patriots of Seabrook Island' and have launched a website to disagree with this policy.Not Anti Vaccine - Pro Freedom"We are not Anti-vaccine, not at all. Many of us are fully vaccinated. We are pro-Freedom," stated the ...

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C., Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of Seabrook Island Club members were denied access to their private club's restaurant November 3 with the management citing club policies requiring members be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID – 19 test. They have formed 'The Patriots of Seabrook Island' and have launched a website to disagree with this policy.

Not Anti Vaccine - Pro Freedom"We are not Anti-vaccine, not at all. Many of us are fully vaccinated. We are pro-Freedom," stated the group's founder Barrie Glenn. "The club has no right to disallow anyone's participation based on vaccine status. They are violating our civil rights, discriminating based on federally protected personal medical choices." she added.

HOA Forces Purchase - Refuses Access"This is a unique situation," Ms. Glenn continued. "Every homeowner has a mandate to join the club for 7 years, per HOA covenant - we have already paid for what we are not allowed to use. Add to that, the policies they enforce on us members are more stringent than any others in the state. "

HOA Retaliates – Candor in Question"Even worse, they have recently retaliated against our freedom movement, and now we are no longer allowed to dine at all – even outside," Ms. Glenn also stated. "Is it really about health? Or is it about power and discrimination?"

Website Touted Ms. Glenn invites anyone to visit the website at www.PatriotsofSeabrookIsland.com to join the group or get additional information. Long-time local Civil Rights Attorney Teresa Zachry Hill (https://hilllawfirm.attorney/), known as "A Powerful Voice for Positive Change" represents the organization.

For more information, press only:FOLLOW THE STORY at www.PatriotsofSeabrookIsland.com. Watch for our NEXT PRESS RELEASE.

SOURCE Patriots of Seabrook Island

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www.PatriotsofSeabrookIsland.com

South Carolina's Best Beaches, Ranked By Popularity

South Carolina is a stunning place to visit not just for its rich history and mesmerizing landscapes but also for its magnificent beaches. The state's coastline, which stretches for 187 miles along the Atlantic, is home to some of the most splendid and p...

South Carolina is a stunning place to visit not just for its rich history and mesmerizing landscapes but also for its magnificent beaches. The state's coastline, which stretches for 187 miles along the Atlantic, is home to some of the most splendid and pristine beaches in the United States. The Grand Strand includes some of the most dazzling and popular beaches for summer tourists. In addition to all this clear blue wealth, South Carolina also possesses enchanting islands. Here are the 10 most popular beaches in the state.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is characterized by its 10 miles (16 kilometers) of wonderful beaches harmonized by splendid lush marshes, breathtaking white sand, and exceptional maritime forestry. Tourists will enjoy the beautiful water beaches of South Carolina by visiting Kiawah Island, which offers them exciting aquatic activities such as kayaks and SUP rentals. They can also play golf at the resort and satisfy their food cravings at the Bohicket Marina Market.

Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island

The enchanting sea breeze in Coligny Beach will carry all tourists' worries and allow them to explore one of the most popular and astonishing beaches in South Carolina. Visitors can spend time in the spectacular public garden equipped with amazing amenities. It is important to note that the location is the safest beach for children due to the presence of active lifeguards. Around Coligny Plaza, visitors can enjoy tasty food and buy beach accessories and clothing as well as unique souvenirs.

Seabrook Island

Tourists will explore the quiet beaches and spectacular wetlands of Seabrook Island, known for its marvelous and greatest swimming beach in South Carolina. Incredible coastline and beautiful trail rides, a health center with aquatics and fitness, mesmerizing beachfront pools, and a hypnotic deep-water marina are all available on the lovely island. Vacationers do not want to miss the most wonderful sunset seen from Pelican Beach. Moreover, friends and families can gather around mouth-drooling food in award-winning eateries.

Myrtle Beach

In terms of the number of visitors, Myrtle Beach is, without a doubt, the most popular aquatic destination in South Carolina. People from all over the world and the country are attracted by this dazzling beach due to its amazing tourist attractions, various exciting entertainment activities, fancy beachfront resorts, and family-friendliness. Moreover, the emerald blue beach's superb white sand keeps tourists coming back. Those looking for a calmer destination should head toward the North Myrtle Beach coast.

Folly Beach, Charleston

Folly Beach is another beautiful sun location that is easily accessible from Charleston. It has a great fishing pier (fishers shall bring their rod), serving as the ideal scenery for a romantic selfie. The beach is also popular for thrilling outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, sea kayaking, and dolphin spotting excursions. It's also a wonderful beach to simply wander along while admiring the sights of the splendid ocean.

Front Beach, Isle of Palms

A nice 40-minute journey east of Charleston will take tourists to the Isle of Palms, a lovely coastal spot popular with both locals and visitors of the area. The majority of visitors flock to Front Beach, which is known for its ample public parking and quick beach access. Aside from kayaking, surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and other aquatic activities, the beach serves as a vital stopover for sea turtles. Therefore, visitors shall watch the warning signs because turtles nest and lay their eggs in the dunes.

Pawleys Island

Travelers looking for the finest place with magnificent sculptures, splendid local plant gardens, and astonishing zoos should visit Pawleys Island's white powdery sand beach. This beach has the most pristine shoreline and is well-known for its calm waves, which are ideal for bicycling, shelling, kayaking, and canoeing with family, friends, and loved ones. Pawleys Island offers a gorgeous view of the area's famed waterway, so tourists shall not miss it!

Huntington Beach State Park — Murrells Inlet

The impressive Huntington Beach State Park is one of South Carolina's most well-known sites. With over 2500 acres of outstanding open area to explore, tourists will enjoy the delightful sea-breeze camping with magical sea waves, charming exotic birds, and bewitching sunsets on the East Coast. Art and environment enthusiasts may see endangered creatures such as loggerhead turtles and flora, as well as visit the neighboring Atalaya Arts and Crafts.

Litchfield Beach

The distinctive Litchfield Beach is another excellent option south of Myrtle Beach. The beach is known to be a quiet destination and is full of charming cottages and a nice 1.5-mile stretch to enjoy. Aside from excellent sunbathing and swimming, people looking for water sports can choose various activities from Jet Skis to sea kayaking, as well as fishing. While parking is limited and it is recommended to arrive early, the fact that only two beach access points are available almost assures a peaceful experience.

Family Beach, Surfside

On Family beach, tourists can stroll with their families down the famed 1.2-mile boardwalk that runs along the magnificent coastline of Surfside Beach and immerse themselves in the awesome landscape while dining, shopping, and participating in exciting festivals. The town provides a variety of coastal activities for people of all ages, including music performances and a water park, as well as excellent dining and shopping. Surfboard rentals and lessons are also available for thrill-seekers. Next:

South Carolina Supreme Court returns 14 congregations to Episcopal diocese

[Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina] The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled April 20 that 14 South Carolina churches that were once part of The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina shall be returned, along with all real and personal property held in trust for the diocese, including the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on Seabrook Island.The churches left the diocese in 2012 and later joined the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the April 20 news marks another milestone in a nearly decade-lo...

[Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina] The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled April 20 that 14 South Carolina churches that were once part of The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina shall be returned, along with all real and personal property held in trust for the diocese, including the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on Seabrook Island.

The churches left the diocese in 2012 and later joined the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the April 20 news marks another milestone in a nearly decade-long legal journey that included a lower court decision in 2014 which was largely overturned by the state’s high court in 2017 and then further clarified with the decision this week.

Of the decision, the Rt. Rev. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, said: “Their decisions will no doubt bring joy to many in our diocese, but for others, there will be grief in the possible finality of a loss they have been feeling for nearly 10 years.” She also added a hope for the future of the reconciled diocese: “We now walk into a bright future, one in which we will focus on the reconciling power of the Gospel to transform injustice, to heal the brokenhearted, and to build God’s beloved community.”

The South Carolina Supreme Court, using a variety of determining factors, decided that 14 parishes (of the 29 previously named) did create an “irrevocable trust in favor of the National Church and its diocese” (the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina – the “Associated Diocese”). These 14 parishes are as follows: Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant; Good Shepherd, Charleston; Holy Comforter, Sumter; Holy Cross, Stateburg; Holy Trinity, Charleston; St. Bartholomew’s, Hartsville; St. David’s, Cheraw; St. Luke’s, Hilton Head; St. Matthew’s, Fort Motte; St. James, Charleston; St. John’s, Johns Island; St. Jude’s, Walterboro; Trinity, Myrtle Beach; and Old St. Andrew’s, Charleston.

Conversely, the Court found that 15 of the 29 parishes “did not create a trust in favor of the National Church or its diocese, and thus those 15 Parishes retain title to their real estate.” These parishes are as follows: All Saints, Florence; Church of our Saviour, John’s Island; Church of the Cross, Bluffton; Christ-St. Paul’s, Yonges Island; Epiphany, Eutawville; Redeemer, Orangeburg; Resurrection, Surfside/Myrtle Beach; St. Helena’s, Beaufort; St. Paul’s, Bennettsville; St. Paul’s, Summerville; St. Philip’s, Charleston; St. Luke & St. Paul, Charleston; St. Michael’s, Charleston; Trinity, Edisto; and Trinity, Pinopolis.

The South Carolina Supreme Court has decided that all real and personal property, including the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, have been held “in trust for the benefit of the National Church [The Episcopal Church] and the Associated Diocese,” meaning the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The ruling further concluded that “the real and personal property held in trust by the Trustees is now held for the benefit of the Associated Diocese.”

On all matters and questions relating to “names, styles, emblems, and service marks,” the Court deferred to the federal court. The U.S. District Court previously ruled in favor of The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (also recognized as The Episcopal Church in South Carolina) in September 2019. This decision has been appealed, but any future rulings were stayed pending the outcome of this state case.

In her pastoral letter to the diocese sent hours after receiving the opinion, Woodlff-Stanley discussed the next steps for the diocese. “We are still working to understand the immediate path forward and promise to be in communication with you as our legal team helps us determine what comes next,” said Woodliff-Stanley. “May we focus together on reconciliation and the way of love as we journey together on the road ahead, centered in Christ’s love for all of us.”

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was one of the nine original dioceses that formed The Episcopal Church in 1785. The Episcopal Church, which encompasses 111 dioceses and regional areas in 17 nations of the world, remains the only denomination in the United States affiliated with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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