Learn How To Get A Divorce In Sc Without Breaking A Sweat
If you want to get a divorce in South Carolina, you must first familiarize yourself with the state laws. Making a mistake while filling out forms means that youll have to start all over again. The whole ordeal might seem confusing at first, but dont worryDoNotPay is here to clear out any confusion!
Our article will show you everything you need to do to get a divorce in SC and list all the necessary forms. , and well draft a divorce settlement agreement for you with ease and show you how to file your South Carolina divorce papers!
How Do You Serve Your Divorce Forms In South Carolina
After filing your forms with the Clerk of Family Court, you must serve a copy of the paperwork described above. Serving papers is also known as service of process. Service of process lets your spouse know that you are suing your spouse for a divorce. In South Carolina, the ways to serve your spouse are:
After you have served the paperwork on your spouse, you must file, within ten days, an Affidavit of Service or the Acceptance of Service with the clerk of courts office. The Affidavit of Service or Acceptance of Service lets the family court know that you gave your spouse proper notice of your lawsuit for divorce.
Bifurcation Of Martial Status
Bifurcation means that both parties in a divorce can be legally declared as a single person while the issues in their divorce are still being worked out. It does not affect things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the divorce from being finalized.
Although it is legal in South Carolina, bifurcation is rarely granted because it removes the incentive to resolve all the issues in a divorce and it means additional work for the courts because two trials must take place instead of one.
Recommended Reading: Is Spousal Support The Same As Alimony
Residency Requirements In South Carolina
You must be a resident of South Carolina to receive a divorce decree in South Carolina. One or both of the parties in a divorce must be a resident of South Carolina to file for divorce in South Carolina.
To qualify for residency in South Carolina, the following must apply:
- One of the parties must have lived in South Carolina for one year, or both parties must have resided in South Carolina for at least three months.
- Location data on official documentation must be changed to or provided in South Carolina.
- You must maintain no documentation that establishes residency in another state.
- You must establish intent to become or be a South Carolina resident if youre not already.
To establish intent, one of the following is needed:
- Full-time employment verification
- A military record that designates South Carolina as your legal residence
- A valid South Carolina drivers license or non-driver identification card
- A valid South Carolina vehicle registration card
- Proof of domicile in South Carolina
- Proof of payment of South Carolina income taxes in the past year
- Proof of property ownership in South Carolina
- Professional practice licensing
If you cannot prove residency, you will need to do so before you are allowed to file for a divorce. If your spouse can prove residency, they can file for a divorce in their name.
Filing Your Divorce Forms
Your next step is to file the divorce papers with the court clerk in the Family Court Division. Here’s how to know which county in which you should file:
- If you don’t live in South Carolina but want to file for divorce in the state, you must file in the county where your spouse lives.
- If your spouse lives out of state , you’ll file in the county where you live.
- If you both live in South Carolina, you may file in the county where your spouse lives or where the two of you last lived together as a couple.
The court clerk will charge a fee to file the papers . If you can’t afford to pay, you may file a Motion and Affidavit to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. Then, if the court approves your request, you won’t have to pay filing fees or the sheriff’s fees for serving the divorce papers .
Recommended Reading: Divorce In The United States
Non Payment Of Child Support
South Carolina takes nonpayment of child support very seriously. The potential penalties can be very severe. They include:
- A contempt of court ruling and associated penalties and fines
- Fines, jail, or both for nonpayment
- Garnishment of wages
- Termination of state benefits and exclusion of state and federal benefits
If nonpayment occurs or the party obligated falls behind in payments to the court, the court clerk will issue a book-keeping rule to show cause. When that happens, the person in arrears must argue to a judge why they should not be held in contempt of court.
In many cases, the family court will jail a parent for nonpayment of child support until they have cleared up the outstanding obligation.
If the party responsible for child support payment pays directly to the other party and falls behind, the unpaid party can file a rule to show cause like the court clerk.
Child support is viewed as separate from visitation rights. In this situation, the parent that has not paid child support maintains visitation rights for all affected children, and the parent may not restrict access. This law is because the right to receive child support falls to the child, legally, not the custodial parent.
Can You Be Denied A Divorce
If you ask for a divorce on fault grounds only, and you do not prove the fault grounds, the court will deny your divorce.
If you ask for a divorce based on one-years continuous separation, and the court finds that you have not been living separate and apart for the full year, the court will deny your divorce.
Can Divorce Happen Without Going To Court
As of now, you cannot legally end a marriage by getting a divorce without having to take court action. In case both parties decide to divorce Mutual Consentually, you will only have to appear in court 4 times. Those in whose marriage has become legally solemnized have a court for legal divorce rather than marriage solemnization only.
Types Of Divorce Laws In South Carolina
While the framework is the same, every state has its specific divorce laws. In South Carolina, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. In addition, every divorce is determined to be at fault or no-fault.
How one proceeds essentially depends on how amicable the relationship with their spouse falls.
File For Online Divorce
When you think about filing for divorce in Alaska, the first thing that tends to come to mind is a long process, lots of divorce papers and hassle. If you are considering an uncontested divorce you are already going through a difficult period, and the last thing you need is to prolong this even further. Luckily, thanks to GetDivorcePapers.com you do not need to worry.Our mission is to make the whole process for you as simple as possible. You will receive all the forms you need to file for divorce thanks to our services. We want to help you go through your divorce as quickly and as effortlessly as possible, so that you can put your mind at ease and resume your life.Thanks to our online divorce forms system, everything you need is just a click away. These forms are state approved and are guaranteed to be accepted or your money back. Your Alaska divorce forms can be downloaded and printed, or can mailed to you. We also offer clear instructions and support as well. Sign Up and start your divorce process today!
What If My Spouse And I Can’t Agree On The Issues In Our Divorce
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to reach a settlement agreement with the mediator’s help, you can then use South Carolina 3StepDivorceâ¢.
Custody Considerations In South Carolina
No parent has automatic custody rights in South Carolina. In any divorce, state law says you must create a custody arrangement. The law also says the best interest of the child is the focal point. In most cases, custody is joint or shared, and the parent with primary custody must recognize the right of the other parent to see their children via regular visitation.
In some cases, the children can state whom they prefer to stay with. To be able to do that, they must have reached an appropriate level of maturity. The childs preference, however, is not the final say. In many cases, a guardian ad litem is appointed, and that person represents the childs interests in and out of court, but only as it pertains to the divorce.
If no custody arrangement can be agreed upon, the judge will step in. They will base their decision on several criteria.
- Age and health of each spouse
- Education and income of each spouse
- Work schedules
- Domestic violence occurrences
- Guardian ad litem input
In most cases, the parent with primary custody will also have the right to make decisions for the child. This custody agreement can include issues such as:
- Medical decisions
- Religious affiliations
- Education options
Further, as a child grows into the mid-teens, the ability of a parent to control their decisions, including where to live, becomes much more complicated. Often, a custody arrangement is ignored, and it is not in the best interest of the affected parent or the child to pursue enforcement.
What Forms Do I Need To File For Divorce In Sc
The Complaint for Divorce Checklist, which contains five forms: Family Court Cover Sheet, Certificate of Exemption, summons for divorce, and Financial Declaration Form, is a short excerpt from the divorce checklist. Be sure that the five forms are filed with your Clerk of Court in the particular county you represent.
What Are The Basic Steps For Filing For Divorce
While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps:
First, you must meet the residency requirements of the state in which you wish to file.
Second, you must have grounds to end your marriage.
Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse.
Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, he will then have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. This is called contesting the divorce. In this case, you will have to attend a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. If your spouse does not disagree with anything, he should sign the papers and send them back to you and/or the court. This is called an uncontested divorce. If a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. You should speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers the divorce papers before you can continue with the divorce.
Fifth, if there is property that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, you will have to work that out in an out-of-court settlement, or in a series of court hearings. Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce.
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
Preparing And Filing Your Forms
You will need to fill out some forms, which you can get on the South Carolina Judicial Branch website:
- Complaint for Divorce
When you fill out your forms, use the person requesting the divorce as the plaintiffs name and the other person as the defendant. Sign the forms that require a notary public when you are with that person, and make three copies of each form one for each spouse and one for the court.
To file your forms, you can go to the county where you and your spouse last lived, the county your spouse lives in right now or your county, if your spouse no longer lives in South Carolina. You will need to pay a fee when you file your papers, though you can file a motion to have it waived if you cant afford the fee.
Top 15 Questions About Divorce In Sc
by seatonlawfirm | Apr 7, 2021 | Divorce, Family Law
Questions about divorce in South Carolina?
Whether you are considering separation, or you have been served with divorce papers, you probably have a lot of questions and you may be feeling overwhelmed. Your first step is to consult with an experienced South Carolina divorce attorney who can answer your questions and help you to decide what your next steps should be.
In the meantime, we have compiled answers to some of the most common questions about divorce that we hear from our clients, including:
- How long the process takes,
- What adultery is,
- Whether you can get alimony in South Carolina, and
- How marital property is divided in a South Carolina divorce.
A Your Wife Just Moved With Your Children From Daniel Island To Denver
You should file for a divorce or legal separation. The only question is whether you should file in Colorado or South Carolina.
You may wonder why you would ever want to file for a divorce in Colorado. Thats a good question.
Before you do anything, you should speak with a divorce and child custody lawyer in Mount Pleasant to consider your options in each state. Divorce laws vary widely from state to state. Depending on your particular circumstance and objectives, it may benefit you to file for divorce in the second state instead of filing in South Carolina. If you delay in filing, your children will soon be deemed to be residents of the second state for determining child custody, child visitation, and child support.
Here are two examples of how alimony, child custody, and property division can be affected by the state in which you file for divorce.
Lets assume that your wife left because you are having an affair. If you file in South Carolina, a South Carolina divorce judge may require you to pay a large amount of alimony each month for the rest of your life, award your wife significantly more of the marital assets because your adultery caused the divorce, and give you limited child visitation.
If that sounds like two entirely different outcomes with the same set of facts, youre right. The outcome in your divorce could be substantially different depending on the state in which you are divorced.
Preparing Your Divorce Forms
As with most legal matters, filing for divorce in South Carolina requires a lot of forms. You can download the forms for simple divorce, along with instructions, from the South Carolina Judicial Branch. There are separate packets of forms for the “plaintiff” and the “defendant” . You can also use the self-help divorce forms tool provided by South Carolina Legal Services, or you can use an online divorce service to provide and complete the forms for you.
If you’re the plaintiff, the forms you’ll need to complete include:
- the Complaint for Divorce
- a Financial Declaration
- the Family Court Cover Sheet, and
- a Certificate of Exemption.
After filling out and signing all the forms, make sure you have at least three copies. The court will keep one, you’ll keep one for your records, and your spouse will need a copy.
Where Do I File For Divorce In Sc If Only One Spouse Lives There
In this situation, you can file for divorce where the spouse lives. The person filing for divorce needs to file in a place where the court can exercise its power over the defendant. This means you want to file for divorce where a judge can legal divide your property and grant your divorce.
For example, Wife and husband lived together in Georgetown, SC. After they separated, Wife left to live with her family in Augusta, GAright across the state line from North Augusta, SC.
Wife should file for divorce at the Georgetown County Courthouse in Georgetown, SC. Its a long drive for her to get to Georgetown, but she doesnt have a choice. She cant file in Aiken County or Edgefield County, even though she lives a stones throw away from South Carolina.
Understanding Grounds For Divorce In Sc
Before you file for divorce in South Carolina, youve to consider acceptable grounds for these cases keenly.
This only ground for a no-fault divorce in this state is if the couple has lived apart for 1 year without cohabitation.
There are 4 grounds for a fault divorce in the state:
- Desertion for a period of 1 year
- Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse
Can You Get Divorced Online In South Carolina
Using this interactive program, a fee of $9.95 per month is all you have to pay for South Carolina Self-Represented Litigant Simple Divorce Packets in order to complete them online. The program allows people who would like to simplify this process to provide an online questionnaire for the divorce. Get more information by visiting org/sc.