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If i dont have an attorney and i didnt file paperwork before…

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if i dont have an...
if i dont have an attorney and i didnt file paperwork before emergency custody hearing. what steps legally do i take to submit my evidence? i live in Greenville SC.
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 10 hours by:
3/15/2018
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 5 months ago
Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience: Family Law Attorney in Private Law Firm
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Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

I want to make sure that I have all of the facts correct. There was an emergency order entered, the emergency hearing was set and at this hearing you did not submit any evidence? Is that correct?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
We were not allowed to present anything that wasnt affidavits nor were we allowed to speak one word to the judge. we had plenty and now even more
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 5 months ago

At temporary hearings in South Carolina, all evidence must be submitted via affidavit. Now, the way the hearings progress is that there should be the emergency hearing first and then after that there may be a Temporary Hearing. If there is not a temporary hearing set, then an order will be issued and that will be the order in the case until a final trial or an agreement is reached.

As an option, in South Carolina, all Family Court cases have to be submitted to mediation prior to having a trial set.

So in your case is there another hearing set in follow up to the emergency hearing? And has an order come out from the temporary hearing?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
there was not a another hearing set we have only attended the first one and only the only thing set by the judge at that time was we had 10 days and we both had to come up with $500 a piece to get a guardian at litem and temporary custody was given to the ex-husband. We paid our Guardian at Litem feet today we also looked into getting the transcripts from the court from the temporary custody hearing because we didn't understand half of what was said because she didn't really look at us and speak to us she only spoke to her ex's attorney. So I guess my question is now it's going to cost us $30 to get the transcripts do you think it's wise that we get those transcripts and what's the next step we need to take do we need to file a case with DSS based on the criminal activity or concerning activity we have found in their home and proceed from there?
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 5 months ago

So several things going on here.

The most important thing that you need to obtain is a copy of the order from the hearing. Several ways you can do this if you already do not have it. You can contact the attorney for your ex and he is required to provide you one. You can also go to the Clerk of Court and they will provide you one. The Guardian ad Litem will also have copy of the order. The order is very important as it will set out everything that is going on.

Now to talk about the transcript for a moment. It can be useful to have. It is not an order and cannot be enforced simply as written, but you can compare what the judge said at the hearing and what ended up in the order you either have or will get. If there is anything that was ordered that did not end up in the written order, you can go back to Court and have it corrected. Likewise if there is something in the order that was not in the transcript, it can be removed by the Court.

Do be aware that it can take several weeks to a month to obtain a transcript.

The order will also give some light as to when you can come back to Court again. I believe that since there was 10 days to pay a Guardian ad Litem that the Court wanted to have the Guardian investigate and then make recommendations. If this is the case then you can either, following a Guardians investigation, request a hearing or the Guardian will be required to let the Court know and a hearing will be set and their report will be given.

With that, in your meeting with the Guardian, you will be able to present your evidence and tell your side of the story. If you have documents to support your position, have them for the Guardian, but if not you can just tell the Guardian. Some Guardians will have intake forms for you to fill out, so make sure to get those done if you are provide any.

The Guardian is there to do a complete investigation and report it to the Court, so take advantage of this opportunity. Many people don't realize that they can present evidence and explain their case to a guardian. Also, while you still may ultimately want to present evidence in Court, the Guardian can also include your information in their report to the Court.

You can also express all of the concerns you have about the criminal activity and the other activity in the home to the Guardian.

Once the Guardian is done, they will make recommendations. They cannot decide custody, but they can make recommendations as to anything that is occurring and what needs to be done. When the investigation is complete, this will also be an opportunity to request another hearing as I said above.

As I said earlier, if the case is not resolved, you will need to go to mediation where a neutral party will attempt to help you resolve your case. You will also have the chance to present your evidence to a mediator.

If all of this does not settle your case, you are entitled to a trial where all evidence would be submitted and a Judge would make a final decision.

Now, one final thought on DSS. You always have the right to go to DSS with concerns, but weigh this carefully. If DSS gets in the case case and a Judge has already awarded temporary custody to your ex, if DSS decides that your ex should not have custody, they likely would not place custody back with you because of the temporary order as they cannot ignore the judges order (even if it was based on improper evidence - only a family court judge can address dismissing that order). If that was the case, that may mean foster care. This is not automatic, but always an option with DSS so I wanted to mention this.

Bot***** *****ne is that you will have several opportunities to present your evidence starting with the Guardian.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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