If you want to file for divorce but aren't sure where to start, you're not alone. For many people, divorce is the most challenging endeavor they'll undertake in their life, and finding the best path forward in your divorce case may be difficult.
At Blood Law, PLLC, our veteran Fort Mill divorce lawyers have the experience to help you navigate the divorce process. Our attorneys will work with you, fighting for your rights in and out of court to ensure you pursue the best outcome for your future.
To schedule a consultation with one of our Fort Mill divorce attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (704) 286-0570.
What Are the Requirements to Get Divorce in SC?
To file for a divorce in South Carolina, you or your spouse must live in the state for at least a year before you file. If you're both residents, you must each live in the state for three months prior to filing.
South Carolina allows divorcees to dissolve their marriage by stating it is "irretrievably broken" without other grounds, as long as both parties live apart for at least one year before finalizing their divorce. This is known as a "no-fault" divorce.
However, divorcees can also file for a fault-based divorce, alleging that their spouse committed adultery, or deserted them for a year, or was physically abusive, or has a substance abuse issue. Parties who file for a fault-based divorce will be expected to provide the court with evidence supporting their claims.
Uncontested & Contested Divorce
Whether you file for an uncontested or contested divorce plays a large role in how your divorce proceeds.
If you and your spouse agree on terms for the divorce, including processes such as property division, alimony, and child custody or support, you can file for an uncontested divorce. In most uncontested divorces, the parties draft and sign a divorce agreement dictating the terms they have agreed on.
If you disagree on any aspect of your divorce, you must instead file for a contested divorce.
In a divorce, the party who files for divorce and initiates the dissolution of the marriage is the "petitioner," while the other party acts as the "respondent."
To begin your divorce, you can file a petition for divorce and summons with the court. You must also serve your spouse with a notice of the divorce utilizing a third-party individual such as a process server or sheriff. The petition includes the petitioner's proposed terms for the divorce, which may be contained in a divorce agreement if the divorce is uncontested.
If the divorce is uncontested, the respondent can choose to waive their right to respond by signing an affidavit or electing not to respond at all. This enables the court to proceed with the divorce, typically resulting in the judge issuing a divorce decree that contains the terms of the divorce agreement the parties developed and finalizing the divorce.
If the divorce is contested, the respondent can file a response with the court dictating their own preferred terms for the divorce. At this stage, the court may request that the parties attempt to sue a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation, to resolve their differences and transition into an uncontested divorce before continuing with their contested divorce.
If ADR is not an option, the court will begin litigating the divorce. This may involve hearings for temporary orders, which determine how the parties handle various processes such as property division and spousal support while the divorce is ongoing.
Finally, the court will hold a trial, during which the parties can provide evidence for their own case or against their soon-to-be-ex. After hearing from both parties, the court will draft and issue a decree that the judge presiding over the case considers equitable. The decree is legally binding and its issuance marks the end of the divorce.
Having a divorce lawyer you can trust at your side is vital if you want to obtain the best outcome in your divorce. At Blood Law, PLLC, our Fort Mill divorce attorneys will work closely with you to advocate for your rights throughout the divorce process.
To schedule a consultation with our team and obtain the legal representation you deserve during your divorce, contact us online or via phone at (704) 286-0570.
“Anna guided me through the entire process and answered all of my questions and concerns quickly.”- Debra K.
“Anna is very knowledgeable of the law as well as the local courts and judges.”- Penny N.
“I’m extremely grateful for Anna's help in my time of need.”- Olivia L.
With offices in Charlotte and Waxhaw as well as in Greenville and Fort Mill, we make it easier for families across the Carolinas to find quality counsel.
Children Come First
With the complexities of family law, we put the well-being and safety of your children at the forefront of your case.
When you work with Blood Law, PLLC, you work with our entire team. Everyone is here to support you through each step.
We create personalized plans for each client while setting realistic expectations on the possible outcomes of the case.
From our first phone call to final signing, our team goes above and beyond to make sure you're getting the attention you deserve.