The operation of the South Carolina Family Courts during Covid-19.

The Family Courts, unlike other courts, simply can not wait.

People suing for money can wait and delay is the name of the game in criminal practice.

Family Court is different.

Family emergencies can be fatal; children can be harmed or worse, money can quickly disappear, and immediate intervention by the court is sometime required.

The South Carolina Bar and the Supreme Court have developed a plan to attend to the needs of South Carolina families. For all practical purposes, the Family Courts are open and functioning with some significant differences.

First, hearings are no longer required for uncontested matters. This includes final hearings for divorce, custody, and approval of agreements.  Attorneys simply send in the required paperwork and the orders will be signed by the court and filed.

Second, all motions will be “heard” in one of 3 ways: either in person at the discretion of the court, by way of  remote video  application, or without any hearing and based solely upon  filings. This accommodation is critical as all requests for Temporary, Emergency, or Expedited Relief will be ruled upon timely.

Finally, as long as a safe and stable status quo has been established for the family, trials will be delayed until more is known.

I hope you find this helpful and stay well!

Guy Vitetta

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