Uncontested Divorce in Anderson, South Carolina

This was not the plan. You never thought you would end up here at the wedding. But, alas, the best you can hope for is an uncontested divorce.

Even if you’re looking for a clean divorce, you or your ex-spouse can end up feeling more volatile or emotional than you had anticipated. If this occurs, having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side will help you remain composed during the process and prevent making rash choices.

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce

Both spouses must concur on all divorce-related matters for there to be an uncontested divorce. Married spouses must complete particular legal conditions in each state to be eligible for this kind of divorce. According to South Carolina Code of Laws 20-30-10, 20-3-30 (2022), the following is required:

Residency in South Carolina

If you and your spouse now reside in the state, you must have lived there for at least three months prior to filing for divorce. The other spouse must have spent the year prior to the filing date residing in South Carolina if one spouse resides in another state.

One Year of Separation

You must meet the requirements for the only basis (or cause) for divorce in South Carolina that isn’t based on allegations of adultery. You must have lived “separate and apart” from your spouse for at least a year straight in order to qualify under that no-fault ground. Separate bedrooms inside the same residence do not satisfy the separation criteria.

Property Settlement

Either you and your spouse have worked out a plan for dividing your assets and obligations, or you don’t have any joint assets or debts.

An Agreement Regarding Children

You and your spouse do not have any minor children together (and none are expected), or you and your spouse have made an agreement regarding child custody, visitation, and support (which must adhere to the minimum standards set forth by South Carolina’s child support guidelines).

Fault in an Uncontested Divorce

Per S.C. Code ยง 20-3-10, in South Carolina, the court may also give you a divorce on “fault-based” grounds. A fault-based divorce may be granted by the court if your spouse:

  • committed adultery;
  • have been absent for at least a year;
  • was physically abusive to the point where your safety and life were in danger, and you would be unsafe if you continued to live with her/him; or
  • regularly under the influence of drink or drugs which led to the breakdown of your marriage

Steps to Filing for a Divorce

The documentation required in divorce proceedings can be overwhelming. These include the following:

  • Family Court Cover Sheet
  • Certificate of Exemption – While technically required, each county has different rules about this document being filed.
  • Summons for Divorce
  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Financial Declaration Form
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Request for Hearing, and
  • Final Order of Divorce

Keeping track of the documents to be served on your spouse (the Defendant) at each stage can be tricky. The Defendant has the option to reply, and keeping track of the days that have passed can be tricky. It is best to retain a divorce attorney to ensure that the documents have been mailed, properly document dates, and be on standby in the event that the Defendant replies to these documents with an answer you did not expect.

Do I Still Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?

In short, yes. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple steps listed above. There are numerous legal considerations in this kind of divorce, regardless of how pleasant the relationship with your new spouse may be. If you attempt to handle these intricate legal issues on your own, you can later regret your decision to get a divorce or run into financial or child support issues.

All of the required legal documentation must be managed by you if you decide to file for divorce alone. This means you will likely have a higher chance of making errors that can postpone or sabotage your divorce. This is frequently more time-consuming and inconvenient than employing an attorney.

You may think that you don’t need an attorney because you and your spouse are on good terms. Who knows if that will last? Along the way, you may come into the knowledge of hidden assets or secrets. You will want an attorney ready when things pop up from the left field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I entitled to Alimony?

The amount awarded where there is no agreement in place is entirely dependent on the facts of each case. These are some factors considered:

  • length of the marriage;
  • length of the marriage;
  • History of employment;
  • potential for income; and
  • “quality of life” when married.

If the recipient of Alimony marries again or cohabits with another, no further alimony payments will be made to them.

Will my spouse leave with half?

South Carolina is not a community property state, in contrast to many other states. So the division of marital assets during a divorce is not 50/50. Instead, it is divided in a way that is reasonable and fair to both parties, which may not always be an equal division.

Can I get a prenup in this state?

So long as the agreement is voluntarily signed by each party, the court will give it the requisite rate. A postnuptial agreement can be created by couples who get married without a prenuptial agreement and later decide they want to safeguard their assets.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do this all on your own. Let Greg Steele Law assist you in this process. Book a consultation with us today!