SC Divorce lawyer E. Powers Price has been with Price aw Firm in Greenville her entire legal career. Powers can help you mentally prepare for, and file for a divorce. Many details need to be worked out like child custody, visitation plans, and division of financial assets.

By: E. Powers Price, Divorce Lawyer Greenville, SC | Updated April 11, 2022 | SC Divorce Law

This blog posting is intended to answer many of your SC family law questions. Like many areas of law, there are numerous hidden “traps” for non-lawyers who try to navigate the South Carolina legal system without legal counsel. Our family law attorney Greenville SC partners answer these pressing questions for our upstate SC potential clients.

Before you seek legal advice elsewhere, remember where you found clear and understandable information about the divorce process in South Carolina. Also, keep in mind that our 4th generation family lawyers in Greenville, SC offer you a FREE lawyer consultation to ask more questions about a no-fault divorce in South Carolina, or how much is a divorce in SC.

Price Law Firm in Greenville SC handles divorce cases, criminal cases, and DUI cases. Call (864) 271-3535 now to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in South Carolina

So, read more below about how to get a divorce in SC. The seven (7) frequently asked questions will address 95% of your pressing questions. Then, in our “divorce lawyer FREE consultation” at our family law office near me (or by a virtual call or telephone call) will cover more specific legal issues that your potential South Carolina divorce may offer.

1.  Do Both Parties Have to Agree to a SC Divorce?

No, they do not. Yet, in 2022, a surprising number of married couples have concluded that the marriage is over at about the same time.

These decisions to undergo the trauma of divorce do not usually occur overnight. Getting a final order of divorce can take several months or the fight can last for several years.

The COVID Pandemic and its depressing attributes seem to have increased filings for divorce all over America. Our Greenville family law professionals have seen an increase in filings in SC divorce cases in 2020 and 2021. That means that both often walk away with less, but the conclusion will be that the divorce is granted.

2.  How Quickly Can a Divorce in South Carolina Be Finished?

Unless the divorce is based on a “fault” ground, the earliest a no-fault divorce can be granted is one year after the parties totally split up, with no co-habitation or sharing a residence. If you only need an uncontested divorce lawyer near me, our legal team still can provide important guidance to make that process go more smoothly.

Reluctance or resistance of the other marital partner can’t stop a divorce case in SC. In the 1950s and earlier, this could still happen in many states, based on laws that were influenced by religious teachings or written by lawmakers who improperly tried to keep unhappy couples together by making the divorce process highly difficult.

Our two experienced family lawyers Greenville, SC know that such obstruction antics (by one party) often run up the costs of both ends of a divorce case. These “scorched Earth” or bitterness tactics can include the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction your case was filed in and the financial amount at stake. In addition, disputes over child visitation and custody can add months or years to a case.

The number of legal services hours required for each side is greatly diminished if our client’s relationship with her or his spouse is “civil’ enough to resolve such issues. Judges in the SC Family Court system are much happier when common sense and reason reduce the decisions a Judge must make.

Because a Family Court judge is always going to focus on the interests of the child (or children), being about to agree upon a fair divorce settlement that protects the children, and equitably resolves child custody or child support determinations is critically important. When rare disputes in matters like who should be guardian ad litem for a special needs child are required to be settled by the Judge, this will take more time.

If you and your spouse intend to divorce speedily and with as little fuss and nasty conduct as possible, that can also happen. In these cases, so long as the one-year separation of the parties can be proven, an uncontested divorce may only take several months from start to finish. The choice is almost always determined by the two parties’ willingness to work toward a settlement agreement, without the judge having to decide these issues.

3.  Where Do I File for Divorce in the State of South Carolina?

The question of “venue” in divorce cases is very strictly enforced. The venue of a case is the legal rule about where the legal action must be filed. Like most other types of civil litigation, the usual county is in the SC county where the defendant resides.

What if the defendant moved and is no longer in SC? If the defendant is now a non-resident of the Palmetto State, the divorce papers are to be filed in the county in which the plaintiff resides, but only when the defendant is a non-resident. SC laws also permit the plaintiff to file in the county where the parties last shared a martial living space.

Plus, in rare cases, our Greenville SC family law firm legal professionals recognize that (if we represent the plaintiff) and she or he is now a non-resident of SC, the divorce paperwork must be filed in the SC county where the defendant has his or her residence.

4.  Is Filing a No-Fault Divorce Action in the Palmetto State the Way to Go?

Many who support this notion are giving a no-fault divorce higher priority due to no one party being blamed for the marriage’s failure. Considering how divorce proceedings are usually “public information,” many experienced divorce lawyers in SC realize that children of the couple and snoopy neighbors need not know about these personal failures.

For most, in 2022, the convenience of using the no-fault divorce route and not dragging your dirty laundry out, for others to see, has many benefits. Yet, remember that some people want to expose the culprit to public scorn and humiliation, and (in those cases) our attorney in Greenville, SC can prepare that sort of case, too.

5.  In SC, What Are the Various Grounds for Divorce?

In the “old days,” all SC divorce cases had to be based on “fault.” The concept of “no-fault” divorces originated in other states, and eventually was eventually added as a means of getting divorced in South Carolina.

Those four (4) original “at-fault” grounds still exist, and are

(a) adultery,

(b) physical cruelty (but, not mental cruelty),

(c) abandonment or desertion (leaving the home and staying gone) and

(d) habitual intoxication from alcohol and/or drug abuse. Yet, many couples, and especially those with impressionable children, shy away from filing for divorce on the grounds allowing a “fault” divorce.

The fifth no-fault ground for divorce in South Carolina was later added to SC divorce laws. Using this ground, however, requires that the party filing assert (under oath) that the martial parties have been “living separate and apart for one year,” and that no cohabitation (having sexual relations or residing in the same abode) has occurred within that one-year period.

This “no-fault” divorce filing is now the most common ground. In addition, the rate of divorce has escalated in the last three decades such that more and more cases seem to wrap up without any desire or need for the court to intervene or resolve contested issues.

Other states, like NC have a similar one-year “cooling off” period for their “no-fault” divorces, so that if the parties do reconcile, this should happen after both prove that they can stay away from each other. The State of Georgia has been bolder about wrapping up non-fault divorces and requires only 30 days of “living apart.”

6. How Can Raising Alleged “Grounds for Divorce” in SC Affect a Divorce Action?

In South Carolina, the “grounds for divorce” can impact a divorce action. For example, proving fault by the other party can impact all three of these important aspects of a divorce proceeding:

(a) equitable distribution of property need not be relatively close to a 50-50 split;

(b) the awarding of spousal support and maintenance can be diminished, or even denied; and

(c) outrageous facts (if proven) can sway a judge greatly on child custody issues.

One quick example may help explain this. Our two Greenville divorce lawyers know that if a family court judge is shown that an affair by the wife substantially deprived the family of resources, the presiding judge may give the husband (our client) more than a normal split of property, to help offset and make up for the loss of marital money spent by the wife during the affair.

In addition, if she was seeking alimony, adultery is the “fault” ground that basically prevents a judge from awarding her that monthly maintenance. Under South Carolina laws, adultery (by either party) serves as a bar an award of alimony to the innocent party. If our example shown above was the proven true facts, and the temptress left her husband after her affair, she is then legally prohibited from receiving an award of periodic alimony, in the divorce.

Price Law Firm Greenville SC has been litigating for over 100 years. Trust us to handle your divorce with tenacity and leadership.

7. How Does Equitable Division of Marital Property & Assets Play Out – in Most Cases?

SC Family Courts are “courts of equity.” That differs from trial courts that have two adversaries sparring over money, or (in a criminal case) guilt or innocence.

The general rule, therefore, is that marital property and any outstanding indebtedness accumulated during the couple’s marriage is generally divided up equally to both parties. Assets in bank accounts, stock portfolios, Bitcoin, most retirement accounts, various forms of investment funds, personal items of property like a $50,000 diamond ring, real estate holdings, as well as the outstanding debts, are all to be “assigned” out by the Judge’s ruling.

While 50-50 is ideal, that precise number is rarely achieved. The judge must make decisions on disputed property splits for the divorcing couple when they cannot mutually agree on what are fair terms of a settlement agreement. Once the Judge rules, each is stuck with what that virtual stranger decided for them.

Contact us for your no-cost case evaluation. Call today to 864-271-3535 and speak to Ms. Powers Price or Greenville divorce lawyer Mr. James H. Price IV, about your legal issues. Both 4th generation SC lawyers are experts on South Carolina divorce laws, so only talk with a best divorce lawyer near me.

This blog posting is intended to answer many of your SC family law questions. Like many areas of law, there are numerous hidden “traps” for non-lawyers who try to navigate the South Carolina legal system without legal counsel. Our family law attorney Greenville SC partners answer these pressing questions for our upstate SC potential clients.

Before you seek legal advice elsewhere, remember where you found clear and understandable information about the divorce process in South Carolina. Also, keep in mind that our 4th generation family lawyers in Greenville, SC offer you a free lawyer consultation to ask more questions about a no-fault divorce in SC, or how much is a divorce in SC.

Call today to speak with our attorneys near me in Upstate SC, and receive your free consultation lawyer phone call, virtual meeting or in-person consult with our South Carolina divorce lawyers. Contact us at 864-271-3535.