The Dooley Law Firm
218 E Main Street
Lexington, SC  29072
803.359.2547 Phone
803.957.3900 Fax

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that every legal issue or question involves a different set of circumstances, therefore, the below answers do not constitute legal advice. We have provided below very brief answers to general questions we often come across. Please contact us with your questions, and we would be happy to assist you with your particular situation.


Real Estate

What if I'm the Seller and unable to attend the closing?
We can always email closing documents to the Seller for signature and have the originals returned prior to closing. We also can utilize a Limited Power of Attorney that allows another individual to be present and sign on your behalf.

Why must I have a lawyer to close on real estate?
In South Carolina, a lawyer is required to close all real estate transactions and, at a minimum, supervise the preparation of the closing package and closing.

Can I choose my own attorney for a real estate closing?
Yes, if you are financing your purchase or refinancing, Federal law requires that the lending institution gives you the option of choosing the closing attorney. Although it is common in South Carolina that the purchaser will choose the closing attorney, if there is no bank involved, the parties can negotiate who the closing attorney will be and the contract will provide for that information.

Who pays what closing costs?
The customary practice is that the Seller pays for the deed preparation and deed stamps, and the Purchaser is responsible for all remaining closing costs; however, closing costs can be part of the negotiations and the contract will determine who pays what.

Do I need a new survey when I purchase real estate?
Dooley Law Firm always recommends a current survey be obtained prior to closing; however, that could be costly for the purchaser and provided there is a current survey of record and no changes to the property line have occurred since the day of the survey, a new survey may not be necessary.

What is title insurance?
There are two types of title insurance, a Lender's Policy and an Owner's Policy. Typically if you borrow more than $50,000 from a lending institution, they will require you to have a Lender's Policy. This policy insures the bank will have the appropriate lien against the property and insure them against any defect in title which may affect their lien against the property. Title defects can include, but are not limited to the following: forgeries, mechanic's lien, property line discrepancies, unrecorded easements, and right of ways. An Owner's Policy insures the owners of the property against title defects, and provides coverage for as long as you own the property.

Why should I have a title search?
A title search indicates the true title holder of property, and will also detect any liens or encumbrances of record against the property. Typically, a title search traces the property back forty to sixty years, and will reveal any mortgages, liens, encumbrances, easements and/or restrictions that may affect the property.


Domestic

What are the types of divorce?
There are 5 grounds for divorce in South Carolina:

  1. Adultery;
  2. Desertion for a period of one year;
  3. Physical Cruelty;
  4. Habitual Drunkenness; provided, that this ground shall be construed to include habitual drunkenness caused by the use of any narcotic drug; or
  5. When the Husband and Wife have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year.

How do you enforce a court order?
A court order in family court is enforceable by the Contempt Powers of the Court. If you violate a court order, you can be punished by imprisonment up to one (1) year, a fine of up to $1500.00, or by community service. To enforce a court order, the enforcing party must file a Rule to Show Cause to seek to hold the party who is alleged to be in violation in contempt of court.