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Alexandria Broughton Skinner
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Alexandria Skinner’s Answers

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  • A track of land is being used for farming only entrance is through my drive way may I put up a fence to stop this

    they are using lots of chemicals in a very residential area

    Alexandria’s Answer

    Attorney Snell has written what I think it a great answer regarding how there might be an easement that could affect one person's right to exclude another. The chemical issues are a separate issue from whether someone has an easement or other right to use land. The chemical and evironmental issues should also be discussed with an attorney, preferably one who knows about environmental law, land use law, and the law of "nuisance." Any real estate attorney you consult with about property rights will probably have a knowledge of these as well.

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  • We have a divorce decree in place. Our divorce should be final at the beginning of January. I also have text conversations where

    He has lied about doing things he agreed to do. However there are no specific dates to enforce these. So how do I go about enforcing specific dates? I already know I need an attorney however I cannot afford one. We made the agreement back in Decem...

    Alexandria’s Answer

    I'm surprised you have a court order in place with this level of detail, if you didn't have a lawyer. If you do have an attorney, ask that person. If not, I disagree with the suggestion that there are free legal services. You should apply at South Carolina Legal Services, but they get many more applicants than they can accept. Here is the link: http://www.sclegal.org/Home/ApplyForService/tabid/213/Default.aspx One thing I sense you are running into is the fact that having a court order doesn't do much good if the action ordered is impossible to perform. If jumping over the moon is impossible, it's not going to do much good to get a court order telling someone to do it. What might be more helpful, as a practical matter, is to figure out what is realistic. If someone cannot afford a car, for example, then perhaps it will need to be sold. If you are interested in working jointly to overcome the challenges to having a workable agreement, you might consider the paradigm of mediation as a primary method of reaching agreement. Ideally, mediation is non-oppositional and focuses on finding workable solutions. The nonprofit mediation centers (such as Upstate Mediation Center in Greenville and Midlands Mediation Center in Columbia) utilize volunteer mediators who donate their time, and they charge on a sliding fee scale.

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  • I have a divorce question after 21 yrs, of marriage and 2 kids 16 and 8yo

    me and my wife have separated all though we have not filed for legal separation. we have both agreed on marital asset division. is it possible that we can mutually agree how we want things divided (who gets what) and a judge go along with our wishes?

    Alexandria’s Answer

    Yes, of course. That's what we would call an "uncontested divorce." Prior to finalizing the agreement, both parties would be well advised to seek legal advice to make sure the agreement is, in fact, fair to them. An attorney will be needed to draft up the agreement and present it to the court. The court will review the agreement for fairness, after each party makes full financial disclosure.

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  • What I'm asking in another post is there a wavier or something in place for a indigent parent who fighting a contested divorce?

    when it comes to an court appointed guardian ad litem and additional fees/costs associated with. I just cant understand why the court can charge a cap for indigent parents up to 7500 if the guardian should decide to state they need more time to m...

    Alexandria’s Answer

    In addition to agreeing with Attorney Kennedy's answer (especially considering mediation sooner rather than later), I would refer you and your soon-to-be-ex to the web site and helpful resource http://www.uptoparents.org If both of you were to follow and implement some of the suggestions on that web site, it might reduce conflict, help you reach voluntary agreement, and therby save a bundle in costs.

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  • Hi, I'm seeking help with filing for divorce. I have been separated from my husband for over 3 yrs. I have no money.

    I have had divorce paper for 2 years, but I'm not sure what I'm doing to file myself. I set an appointment with a attorney, but he is asking for $75.00 for first visit. if I needed him to do all paper work it will start off $1500.00 which I don'...

    Alexandria’s Answer

    There's more to representing a client in a divorce than just doing some paperwork. Legal representation is a serious undertaking which -- even in an uncontested case in which there is no property and no children -- involves not only giving you professional advice and counsel, but also processing papers, coaching you through the various stages and information which must be gathered, appearing at a court hearing, and drafting the orders and filings that are given to the court and state agencies to make your divorce final. If there is a minor child, as here, there are additional issues which MUST be addressed such as parenting plan (custody) and support of the child.

    Things can be made simpler, but the legal process is very serious. These decisons will affect you for the rest of your life, and certain steps cannot be eliminated. I know it seems attorneys charge a lot of money, but they also have earned their certification as attorneys through years of training and experience, and there is a lot more to representation, maintaining expertise as a professional, and providing reliable, professional assistance that most clients don't see. Even in the simplest of legal cases, the issues and process are complex and the effects of the process are life changing.

    For parties on a tight budget who feel they just need a bit of help, however, an option to consider is "unbundled services." In unbundled services, you would hire an attorney to just do one or two things for you (perhaps prepare or review papers), and then you would be on your own to do the rest (such as appear in court). The SC Bar maintains a referral service. If you are interested in unbundled services, mention this when you request a lawyer referral. http://www.scbar.org/Public-Information/Find-a-Lawyer/LRS

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  • I got married 3 months ago but a couple days ago my wife wakes up and says I'm leaving, what should my next step be?

    Got married 3 months ago She didn't give an explanation as to why Nothing had happened to assume she would.

    Alexandria’s Answer

    You need to see an attorney in person, but first you should think about what you want to do. How your attorney will advise you will depend upon what your goal is and what you hope to achieve. For instance, if you want to try and save your marriage (perhaps by way of marriage counseling), you probably should get advice from an attorney about how to protect yourself in the event counseling doesn't work. On the other hand, some of the things that could be done to protect yourself legally may not be very conducive to saving your marriage. If you just want to file for divorce, or if you want to be legally separated, those are very personal decisions. In my opinion, it is important to find an attorney who will support you in clarifying your goals and then acting to further those goals, whatever they are.

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  • Divorce / Mediation Question

    My girlfriend is trying to set up mediation for her divorce but her husband does not want a mediation and just wants to wait the entire 12 months to dissolve the marriage. ( SC Law says you can not divorce less than 12 months unless cruelty or oth...

    Alexandria’s Answer

    Trying to do one's own divorce without hiring a professional seems to me a bit like trying to do surgery on one's own foot without hiring a surgeon. It may be possible, but it's not pleasant, chances of messing something up are significant, and the long term consequences of mistakes can be serious. I would strongly recommend that your GF hire an attorney.

    To address your question, there are several things all jumbled up and confused here. As Attorney Siebert pointed out, mediation is merely a meeting in which parties are given an opportunity to reach agreement concerning issues which must be addressed as part of dissolving the legal relationship of marriage. Some of the issues that can be addressed in mediation of a divorce settlement include support obligations such as alimony or child support, division of assets and debts, and rights and obligations as a parent such as custody and parenting plan. Mediation does not affect the grounds for divorce (which is determined by the Complaint filed in court), and it does not bypass the requirement of a one year waiting period for a divorce based on the ground of one year separation. If your girlfriend is wanting to change her grounds for divorce from one year's separation to one of the other grounds laid out in the divorce statute, she will most likely need the assistance of an attorney.

    As an aside, you mention some issues related to abusive behavior. Mediation is a very serious meeting and any agreements reached during a court ordered mediation have long term legal consequences. The Code of Ethics for family mediators requires a mediator to ensure that the mediation is not tainted by threats, violence, or abuse of one party by another. The red flag of abuse adds a layer of complexity to any mediation which must be addressed by the mediator at the outset. Therefore, if your GF does proceed to mediation, she should bring the abuse to the attention of both the mediator and the court so that the process can be designed to prevent the integrity of mediation from being affected by threats or abuse.

    Basically, under the circumstances you're describing, there is no way I would recommend this person proceeding as a pro se litigant (as it sounds like she may be doing). I hope she has an attorney, in which case she should direct her questions to that attorney. If she doesn't have an attorney, she needs to find one.

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  • How do I get started finding an attorney for a divorce

    Found my wife had and may still be having a long term relationship with another guy

    Alexandria’s Answer

    Referrals word of mouth is great, and interview a couple of lawyers. But before you decide on a lawyer you need to decide on what flavor of lawyer you are looking for, and that will depend on what kind of divorce process you hope to have. Do you feel a need to have some public humiliation, or do you just want to put this away quietly? Do you hope to reach a fair agreement by negotiating, or do you hope to "duke it out" in court proceedings and give as good as you got? Do you have complicated financial and property issues that will need to be sorted out? Do you have small children such that you'll need to make lots of decisions related to their care and support, and do you hope you and your spouse can make those decisions or do you want a court to decide for you? After you sort through your own goals, then you'll have a better idea what sort of lawyer is going to be the best match to help you meet those goals.

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  • Will habitual drunkenness ever win over adultery? I want to file on habitual drunkenness & husband wants to file on adultery.

    Husband is awaiting trial for DUI. He already totaled one car while drunk but police came next day and he lied saying he fell asleep. He is Bi-Polar and ADHD and I've suffered years of emotional neglect and abuse. Tried marriage counseling to n...

    Alexandria’s Answer

    It sounds like there's some sort of opinion poll going on about what you should do. Friends, coworkers, and internet bb boards are not great places to get legal advice. If you want legal advice, that needs to be in a private setting, based on confidential information, and from someone who actually knows the law. Meaning, go see an attorney. In the meantime, straighten up and fly right. What kind of example are either of you setting for your children? Try and get him into AA. Even if he won't, you get yourself to an Al Anon meeting. Nothing is going to get fixed in your marriage until both of you address the underlying issues causing damage. You can't fix him, but you can work on yourself.

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  • Does all parties attorneys have to be present in a custody mandated mediation ?

    In order to save on costs, Is it necessary? since the mediator is a attorney,

    Alexandria’s Answer

    Your case is already in the position of A versus B in court. As such, it is more appropriately characterized as a facilitated settlement conference taking place within the context of a litigated, adversarial case. Because of this context -- that it is an adversarial, legal case in which both parties are represented by counsel -- you need your attorney there to advise you and to represent your interest.

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