How to File for a No-Fault Divorce in South Carolina

Posted by Leslie SarjiApr 15, 20140 Comments

Divorce in South Carolina can be a stressful and anxiety provoking experience for one or both parties; however, we are here to help walk you through the process so that it is as easy as possible. If you are looking to file for divorce it is important to note that South Carolina offers both fault and no-fault divorces for married couples who are looking to legally end their relationship. Fault divorces are ones in which one party is asking for a divorce on the grounds of physical abuse, alcoholism, adultery, or another significant issue. In contrast, a no-fault divorce is one in which the divorce is simply based on irreconcilable differences. Currently, in South Carolina a no-fault divorce also required that the spouses have lived apart for a year before they are able to file. Although the legislature is currently debating a series of changes to the stipulations for a no-fault divorce, here are some guidelines and requirements to following if you are currently looking to or have already filed:

Do you meet the residency requirements?

Each state has their own residency requirements for individuals who are looking to file for a divorce. If you do not live in South Carolina, or your spouse lives in a separate state and they are filing for divorce, then it is important to consult that state's laws in order to make sure that you fit the residency requirements. In South Carolina, one of the spouses must be a resident for at least one year in order to file; however, if both spouses are residents then you only need three months of marriage in order to file.

Are there forms to fill out?

Filing for a divorce requires paperwork that is called a Complaint for Divorce; however, at Sarji Law firm we help to walk clients through the filing process. The location in the state where the complaint is filed depends on the location of the spouses. This is one of the complicated elements of filing for divorce, which we are happy to walk you through. If the person receiving the divorce papers does not live in the state then the spouse can file for divorce within their own county; however, if the receiving spouse lives in South Carolina then the partner has to file in the county where they last resided together. In addition to the Complaint for Divorce, a person who is served papers will also receive a Financial Declaration form and a Summons for court. An individual can be served divorce papers by another individual or by mail.

What if the divorce goes to court?

If the receiving party accepts the divorce papers then each party must decide on the separation of property and the living situation for their children. For a no-fault divorce most of these issues will be settled before a hearing, which makes it easier for judges during the hear to make sure that the agreement is equal for both parties. Once the hearing is over the judge may or may not sign the Final Order of Divorce, which is the person who received the papers responsibility to file with the county clerk's office and send a copy to the person who filed for divorce.

If you have any additional questions about the divorce process you can contact Sarji Law firm at 843-566-5423 or online for a free consultation.

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