Divorce. The thing you thought would never be an option. This isn’t the most positive of circumstances to retain a lawyer, but it doesn’t mean you should go through this process without one. You may be very emotional right now, a little confused, and apprehensive. An experienced Belton divorce lawyer is what you need to make sense of the mess. Let the team at Greg Steele Law alleviate some of this anxiety.
Residency Requirements for Securing a Divorce in Belton
The person seeking the divorce must have lived in South Carolina for at least three months before filing for divorce, assuming that both parties are residents of the state. Otherwise, the defendant or the Plaintiff must have lived in the area for at least a year. You may file in the Family Court of the county where the defendant resides or the county where the parties last shared housing if both parties are residents of South Carolina. You may file in the county where the Plaintiff resides if the defendant does not reside in South Carolina.
Grounds for Getting a Divorce in Belton, South Carolina
You may also be granted a divorce in South Carolina on “fault-based” grounds in accordance with South Carolina Code 20-3-10. The Court may award a fault-based divorce to you if your spouse:
- has been physically abusive to the point where your safety and life were at risk, and you would be unsafe if you continued to live with her/him;
- committed adultery;
- been gone for at least a year; or
- routinely using alcohol or drugs to the point, it leads to the breakdown of the marriage
Process of Getting a Divorce
The Family Court has jurisdiction over family-related matters. Judges in Family Court have the authority to make rulings in divorce, separations, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, alimony, and the distribution of marital assets, such as pensions and retirement plans.
A divorce case is initiated when one spouse submits a Summons and Complaint outlining the grounds for the divorce, as well as, if necessary, the proposed division of the couple’s assets and liabilities. Where the marriage produced children, who are, at the time the case is initiated, under the age of 18, the Complaint will include addressing child support, visitation rights, and custody. The Plaintiff is the one who initiates the litigation.
The other spouse is personally served with a certified copy of the Summons and Complaint after the lawsuit has been filed. If the spouse has a lawyer, the lawyer may accept the summons and Complaint on behalf of the client.
In response to the charges in the Complaint and Counterclaim, they then have 30 days to submit an Answer detailing how they would like the Court to handle the case’s concerns.
Your case will move on as a contested divorce if your spouse files an answer to the divorce complaint that expresses disagreement with even a small portion of the claims in your Complaint. Several court sessions as well as discovery, the legal procedure for acquiring evidence, will undoubtedly be required of you. You will proceed to trial and have a judge decide on all of the unsolved problems unless you and your spouse manage to reach a complete settlement at some point in the procedure.
An Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce, in which you and your spouse can agree on all matters, is the simplest process. A Complaint for Divorce and related supporting documents are first submitted. Included in these documents is a marital settlement agreement stating the division of assets and your agreement regarding any children. Copies of these records are given to your spouse and filed with the Court.
Whether your spouse files an Answer to the Complaint within 30 days of receiving divorce papers will determine what step you will take next in the divorce process.
When the other spouse files an Answer in an uncontested divorce, the defendant should tick the proper boxes on the answer form to “admit” (or “agree”) to all of the allegations in the Complaint. After getting that response, you must fill out a Request for Hearing and submit it to the court clerk.
The other spouse can also decide not to submit an answer. If this happens, you can file a full Affidavit of Default for Divorce after the 30-day window has elapsed, along with a Request for Hearing and evidence that your spouse was duly served with the divorce papers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I don’t have children, and there is no property between us. Will I have to go to Court?
In a case like this, there is only one hearing, the final divorce hearing, in a divorce action. This 15-minute hearing is just intended to ascertain whether the conditions for the desired divorce have been met. The testimony of the party asserting that the conditions for divorce have been satisfied must be supported by the testimony of a third-party witness.
Do I truly need a Belton Divorce Lawyer?
If you decide to file for divorce alone, you are responsible for handling all of the necessary legal paperwork. This implies that there is a greater likelihood that you may make mistakes that delay or damage your divorce. When compared to hiring an attorney, this is typically more time-consuming and inconvenient.
We provide a variety of resources. Some of them are as follows:
- Anderson County Family Law Resources
- Uncontested Divorce in Anderson, South Carolina
- Is it possible to get a family court case dismissed?
Let us guide you through this process. Let Greg Steele Law assist you in this process. Book a consultation with us today!