Beginner’s Guide: South Carolina’s Types of Alimony

Alimony is the money paid from one spouse to another in a divorce. If you’re at any stage in the divorce process, it’s critical to understand the different types of alimony. It can be confusing in the best scenario, but in South Carolina, it can be especially complex. But don’t panic – we’ve got you covered. Take a look at this easy-to-understand guide to the three most common types of alimony.

Permanent Periodic Alimony

The most commonly ordered type of alimony, permanent periodic alimony, consists of ongoing monthly payments from the supporting spouse and usually lasts a lifetime. The only way to change the amount paid is with a judge’s order. Any change requires proof of a change in life circumstances that’s significant.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony lasts significantly less time than permanent periodic alimony. The purpose is to allow the supporting spouse to pay alimony long enough for the other spouse to become self-supporting, often accomplished through training or continuing education. The order for this type of support is usually given for shorter marriages, when one party didn’t have a paying job during the marriage but can now become gainfully employed when they’ve acquired job skills.

Reimbursement Alimony

This type of payment supports a spouse who supported their spouse during the creation of a business or enterprise during the marriage. This is usually given when the business is successful, and the judge deems the successful spouse responsible for reimbursing the sacrificing spouse for their time, investment, and potential lost opportunities.

Instead of guessing which type of alimony a judge will order in your divorce case, get an attorney in your corner to help you navigate through the process. Contact the team at McCutchen McLean, LLC for help negotiating not only alimony but all aspects of your divorce.

The Difference Between a Will and Estate Planning

What are the primary differences between a will and estate planning? While the two processes tend to go hand-in-hand, they are not the same. Understanding the similarities and differences between will drafting and estate planning can help you know how to move forward to protect your assets and provide for your family.

What Is a Will?

A will is a document that provides details about where you want your assets to go upon death. It also includes information about who you want to serve as a guardian if you have minor children. In the will drafting, you name an “executor”—the person in charge of the asset distribution upon your death.

What Is Estate Planning?

Will drafting is an integral part of the estate planning process. However, the estate plan covers details that take place while you are still living, including financial and healthcare decisions other people can make on your behalf. Estate planning also encompasses tasks to preserve and manage your assets, such as establishing charitable giving to reduce your taxable estate.

Primary estate planning documents include:

  • Last will and testament
  • Durable power of attorney to handle your finances
  • Healthcare power of attorney to make medical decisions if you are unable to do so
  • Advance directive—a legal document that expresses your choice about life-prolonging efforts and treatments, such as a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNR)

The #1 difference between a will and estate planning: While it’s possible to draft only a will without comprehensive estate planning, the estate planning process includes will drafting.  

Do you need an experienced attorney to draft your will or estate planning documents? Contact Lexington’s trusted estate planning attorneys at McCutchen McLean, LLC, to get started.



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I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



We recently used James McCutchen and we could not be any happier! He was very kind, thorough when answering all of our questions and the best part of all we got everything completed pretty quickly. We highly recommend James. Thanks again for everything!



I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


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