No-Fault Divorce South Carolina

Every state has its own set of divorce laws. So what’s it like to file for a no-fault divorce in South Carolina? Divorce itself is a painful process, but you can make it easier by consulting a reliable no-fault divorce South Carolina lawyer. 

At Sarah Henry Law, we offer careful guidance through your no-fault divorce process. Reach out to a lawyer to learn more about this process. 

What is No-Fault Divorce?

A no-fault divorce is when you file a divorce based on living apart for more than one year. The lack of fault grounds  gives the impression that no-fault divorce will be easier than at-fault divorce. 

But filing for a no-fault divorce in South Carolina can be complex, especially if you aren’t familiar with the state divorce laws. If you’re the petitioner, filing a no-fault divorce in South Carolina calls for the following steps.

Check Eligibility for a No-Fault Divorce

South Carolina has requirements other than grounds for divorce. Talk to your lawyer if you’re concerned you don’t meet the following requirements: 

  • The One-Year Rule – You and your spouse must have lived apart and separately from each other and not cohabited for one full year. Living in separate rooms in the same house does not qualify. Have an independent witness to prove your compliance with the one-year rule.
  • Residency – If you are both South Carolina residents, you must have lived in the state for at least three months before filing for a no-fault divorce; otherwise, you must have a minimum one-year residency

Preparing to File for a No-Fault Divorce

You must draft and file a complaint for divorce. You will also need to complete a financial declaration outlining your finances for review by the court. An attorney will walk you through how to complete the financial declaration and interpret your assets, debts, and income. 

You may also choose to draft and file a motion for a temporary hearing to protect your assets during the litigation. 

File Your Divorce Papers

Your attorney will ensure that you are filing your pleadings with the clerk of the family court in the correct jurisdiction. This can change depending on which party is filing, and the existence of prior orders. Usually, the jurisdiction is one of the following counties:

  • Where you last lived with your spouse
  • Where your spouse currently resides
  • Where your spouse lives if you’re not currently residing in South Carolina
  • Where you currently live if your spouse is not residing in South Carolina

Your lawyer can help you determine your best option for filing. If you have any questions about the process, an attorney can provide you with the answers you need. 

You’ll also need to pay a filing fee. If you cannot afford it and you qualify, you may be able to file a Motion and Affidavit to Proceed In Forma Pauperis to proceed without paying the fee. 

Serve the Papers on Your Spouse

You have several options for serving divorce papers. The most reliable and efficient way to serve your paperwork on your spouse is to use a process server. They will perfect the service and provide a service affidavit that can be used to prove service if there is an issue. Your attorney will arrange the service of your pleadings on your behalf and inform you when your spouse has been served.

Whatever option you use, your attorney will file a proof of service with the court. This can protect you if your ex-spouse claims you never served the papers. 

Finalize a No-Fault Divorce with a Lawyer’s Help

Your spouse’s response to the petition will determine the next steps. There is no one-size fits all way of proceeding with the divorce process, but your lawyer can make the process easier for you. 

Because of the complexity of divorce proceedings, you may need the services of a trusted lawyer with experience in family law. If you or someone you know plan to file a no-fault divorce in South Carolina, reach out to us. Call 864-478-8324 or complete the following online contact form. 

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