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February 12, 2020

Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

When you decide to end your marriage in South Carolina, you can file a no-fault divorce or one founded on specific grounds. Grounds for a divorce in South Carolina include alcohol abuse, infidelity, drug abuse and physical abuse. In these situations, you will generally not need to prove an extended physical separation. For a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse will need to be living apart for at least one year to file.

Understanding Uncontested Divorces

A divorce may be either no-fault or based on specific grounds in addition to being contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce in South Carolina is one where both parties agree on the basics of divorce. This means they can reach a consensus on:

  • Division of property
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Alimony
  • Child support

Usually, uncontested divorce happens after a couple have been separated for at least a year. Both parties are ready to leave the marriage, are willing to move forward and agree on the basic terms of how post-marriage life will work.

Since so much is agreed upon, uncontested divorces can take as little as two or three months to resolve after the separation requirements are fulfilled.

How an Uncontested Divorce Works

Even if you are in agreement and ready to proceed with dissolving your marriage, an uncontested divorce still requires some work. You must meet the requirements for separation and you must file the paperwork. Both you and your spouse must submit financial declarations to be put on file. Your agreement has to be in writing and approved by a family court. The court will examine the document to ensure it is fair to any children and to both parties.

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Once the agreement is ready, the divorce case has to be filed with the courts. You must request a hearing and show up for your court date. After the hearing, you can start your new life as an unmarried person.

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Even if you agree on most things, marriage involves many legal and financial rights, and you need to ensure you do not overlook anything. For example, you may need to make sure the marital home is refinanced and the deed is changed to reflect new ownership if the property will not be sold. If you have a visitation schedule for children, you may need to update that schedule as your child gets older and as circumstances change. 

When creating your agreement, you also need to keep in mind that your circumstances may evolve and your agreement could have far-reaching consequences. For example, child support and the division of assets can impact both parties’ taxes. If one partner goes on to meet someone else or gets a new job, this can affect everything from visitation to the financial lives of both parties.

Coming up with a functional agreement is a challenge, and you will want to ensure all the paperwork is in order. In many cases, it is advisable to seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. Lauren Taylor offers legal representation in complex divorce cases and will work to protect your interests and those of any children in the relationship. If you’re getting a divorce in South Carolina, contact Lauren Taylor Law and make sure you have all your bases covered.