Thousands of people divorce in South Carolina every year without hiring a lawyer. When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case. When a South Carolina case is uncontested and both parties are willing to sign, when you and you spouse agree about everything filing your own divorce is a common choice in order to cut down legal expenses.
Read about the advantages of filing your own uncontested divorce in South Carolina. The plaintiff must live in South Carolina for at least one year.
When both spouses are residents, the filing spouse must have been a resident for three months. The action may be filed 1 in the county where the defendant resides, 2 in the county where the plaintiff resides when the defendant is missing or does not live in the state, or 3 in the county where the spouses last lived together. The divorce paperwork requires a signed authentication that you have been a resident of South Carolina.
If the court requires proof for some reason, typically a South Carolina driver's license or state identification is sufficient. An affidavit of a corroborating witness testifying about your residency also works. After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them.
After your spouse returns them, you file in your local county court. Fault: 1 adultery, 2 desertion for a period of one year, 3 physical cruelty, 4 habitual drunkenness caused by a narcotic drug. Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it takes at least 90 days for a divorce to be final.
The day start to finish time of the divorce is state law. After the days, the judge may sign the final Decree of Divorce. You control revisions and reprintings as necessary. In South Carolina, a divorce hearing is required, and especially if you and your spouse have minor children.
If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce. If there are no children, the SC divorce process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide. Learn more about divorce hearings in South Carolina.
It is easier to effect a name change during the divorce rather than after the divorce is finalized. Read more about a name change during a divorce in South Carolina. A series of questions itemizes property and debt, dividing and allocating both according to what you and your spouse have agreed to.
The answers become part of the divorce documents, so it is clear to you, your spouse and the court how assets and liabilities have been divided.
You answer a few questions dealing with individual retirement accounts. You have the option of waiving rights to each other's account s , or dividing any marital portion of an account by a specific percentage or a dollar amount.
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To learn more about filing a summons, preparing a petition, and service of process, go to the Starting the Court Case page in our Preparing for Court - By Yourself section. Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, he will then have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. 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?
Main St. Zip Code. The final hearing is known as a final or merits hearing. If you live in Charleston, Mt. The waiting period to receive your divorce depends on many factors see above.
The South Carolina Bar has information about grounds for divorce in South Carolina and information on legal separation. South Carolina Judicial Department has self-represented divorce forms for plaintiffs and defendants.
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