How to File for Divorce in South Carolina
Filing for divorce can be a difficult decision, but it is often the best solution for couples who are no longer happy together. If you live in South Carolina and are considering filing for divorce, you need to know the process and what to expect.
Filing for divorce requires the help of an experienced family law attorney. At Sarah Henry Law, our team has helped countless individuals through the divorce process. We understand how difficult this time can be, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.
Fault Divorce vs. No-Fault Divorce: Understanding Your Options
The first step in preparing for your divorce is to understand the grounds for divorce in South Carolina. The state of South Carolina recognizes two types of divorces: fault and no-fault.
A no-fault divorce can be granted if the couple has been living apart for at least one year.
A fault divorce can be granted if one spouse is legally at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. The grounds for a fault divorce include adultery, desertion, physical abuse, and habitual drunkenness.
The Steps Involved in Filing for Divorce in South Carolina
The first step in filing for divorce is to determine if you have legal grounds to do so. In South Carolina, there are four grounds for divorce: adultery, desertion, physical abuse, and habitual drunkenness. If you do not have one of these legal grounds forming the basis of your divorce filing, you will need to file for a no-fault divorce, which requires that you and your spouse have been living apart for at least one year.
If you do not have any at-fault grounds for divorce and have not been living apart for one year, then a separate support and maintenance action is another option to discuss with your attorney until you can finalize your divorce.
The next step is to file a complaint with the family court in the county where you or your spouse reside. Once the complaint is filed, your spouse will be served with divorce papers and given a certain amount of time to respond.
When your spouse responds to the divorce papers, you will need to attend a mediation session with your attorney. Mediation is required in all South Carolina divorces and is an opportunity for you and your spouse to agree on the terms of your divorce without going to trial. If you are unable to reach an agreement in mediation, your case will go to trial.
Trial Phase of a South Carolina Divorce
The trial phase of a divorce can be both costly and time-consuming. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to protect your interests.
During the trial, both sides will present evidence and witnesses to support their case. Once the evidence has been presented, the judge will make a decision.
If the grounds for divorce have been proven, the judge will grant the divorce, and both parties will be legally divorced.
Contact Us for Help Filing for Divorce in South Carolina
Are you looking for the best possible outcome in your divorce case? At Sarah Henry Law, our team is here to help.
We have years of experience handling all types of divorce cases, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today at 864-478-8324 to schedule a consultation. You can also reach us through our contact form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you.