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Greenville County
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Family Court
Paul B. Wickensimer, Clerk of Court

The Family Court is part of a unified statewide court system. The Clerk of Court, Family Court division, works with five resident Family Court Judges. These judges are appointed by the South Carolina legislature. The Family Court facilities provide six individual courtrooms. The Family Court is one of limited jurisdiction and has the authority to hear only specific types of cases.

The Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases concerning domestic disputes. Among the many types of matters that the Family Court presides over are the granting of divorces, property disputes between husband and wife, and the granting of alimony. The Family Court is also charged with child custody matters, including child support orders, visitation schedules, the termination of parental rights, the finalization of adoptions, and legal name changes. Additionally, the Family Court hears paternity disputes and domestic violence incidents. The Court also hears most juvenile criminal cases where the juvenile is under the age of seventeen. Unlike the Circuit Court, the Family Court does not employ the use of juries. Appeals from Family Court cases are heard by the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

The Family Court is a formal court of record, and operates under the South Carolina Constitution, the code of Laws of South Carolina, and the Rules of Family Court. A majority people having cases in Family Court are represented by attorneys. These attorneys have spent at least three years in law school studying the various laws and procedures. Laws regarding fairness and impartiality prevent the judges and the Clerk’s staff from giving legal advice to anyone, including those trying to represent themselves. We recommend that you consult an attorney for all Family Court legal matters. Otherwise, you will need to study the South Carolina Constitution, the Code of Laws of South Carolina, and the Rules of Family Court. These laws and rules may be found in the Greenville County Main Library, Greenville County Law Library, or Greenville Technical College Library.

In Greenville County the Family Court is located on the corner of University Ridge and Church Street, adjacent to Greenville County Square.

Family Court is open from 8:30 am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.