South Carolina Divorce Process

Are you going through a divorce in Rock Hill, South Carolina? If so, the divorce process may be overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with challenging issues related to child custody, property division, and domestic support. The issues must be resolved to finalize your divorce, but you do not need to handle them alone.

At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, our Rock Hill divorce lawyer is a top-rated family law attorney in Rock Hill, SC. Our legal team understands the South Carolina divorce process and how to help our clients navigate to get the best possible outcome for their divorce case. 

Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers today at (803) 504-0971 to schedule a confidential consultation with our Rock Hill divorce attorney. Our team is prepared to discuss the South Carolina divorce process and how we can help you with your divorce case. 

How Our Rock Hill Family Law Attorneys Help With the South Carolina Divorce Process

How Our Rock Hill Family Law Attorneys Help With the South Carolina Divorce Process

The South Carolina divorce process can be complicated and confusing, depending on the circumstances and facts of a case. The good news is that you do not have to take on this daunting task alone.

Attorney Donae A. Minor opened the law firm in 2016 with one goal in mind – to help individuals and families resolve disputes as effectively and amicably as possible. Our law firm is “family-focused and results-driven.” With that in mind, our Rock Hill family law attorneys fiercely pursue fair divorce settlements and aggressively represent our clients during settlement negotiations and during trial. 

Because we understand that your situation is unique, we tailor a legal strategy for your case based on your goals and the evidence in the case. We listen to what you want and then set about doing our best to achieve your desired outcome.

When you hire Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, we can do the following for you:

  • Listen to your story to gain a better understanding of what has brought you to this point and how we can help
  • Explain the South Carolina divorce process and how it applies to the specific facts of your case
  • Discuss various ways of getting you what you deserve or as close to it as possible within the law
  • Communicate with your ex-partner’s attorney and other parties involved in your case
  • Aggressively negotiate a reasonable and fair divorce settlement agreement 
  • Represent your best interests and advocate for you during each phase of the divorce process from start to finish

You can trust you are choosing an attorney with exceptional skills and legal expertise in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The National Black Lawyers includes Attorney Minor in the Top 40 Under 40 list of attorneys. She has also received top ratings from clients across numerous review sites. 

Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Rock Hill divorce lawyer. 

What Are the Residency Requirements for a Divorce in South Carolina?

The South Carolina residency requirement for divorce is one year or three months. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of one year before you file for divorce, or you both must have lived in the state for three months before filing a divorce petition. 

Does South Carolina Have No Fault Grounds for Divorce?

Most states have passed no-fault divorce laws that permit a spouse to obtain a divorce without proving that the other spouse is at fault for the breakup of the marriage. No-fault divorce laws vary by state. 

South Carolina has a version of a no-fault divorce. If spouses live separate and apart without cohabitation for a minimum of one year, either spouse can petition the court for a divorce. If you reconcile during the year, you must begin the year again when you separate if you decide you cannot save your marriage. 

If you do not want to wait a year to file for divorce in South Carolina, you must state one of four fault grounds for the divorce. 

The fault grounds in South Carolina are:

  • Physical cruelty
  • Adultery
  • Habitual drunkenness (including alcohol and narcotic drugs)
  • Desertion for a minimum of one year

The person asking for the divorce has the burden of proving their spouse is guilty of the grounds alleged in the divorce petition. 

If the court finds that the parties have colluded or the act being complained of was done with the knowledge of the petitioning spouse, the court will not grant a divorce on the grounds claimed. In other words, suppose you tell your spouse to have sex with someone so you can get a divorce in a few months instead of waiting over a year for a divorce. Then, the court will not grant your divorce on the grounds of adultery. 

How Do I File for Divorce in Rock Hill, South Carolina?

Each divorce case is unique. Therefore, the divorce process for your case could vary from the standard steps in a divorce case. However, all divorce cases begin by filing for divorce. 

Either spouse can petition the court for a divorce. The divorce papers must be served on the other spouse, who has 30 days to respond to the divorce complaint. From this point, your divorce case could go in several directions.

If your spouse does not file an answer or response to the divorce complaint, you can ask the court for a default divorce judgment. The court reviews your paperwork to ensure it is in order before granting the divorce. Typically, the judge grants the relief requested in the divorce complaint if it is not unconscionable, given the facts of the case. 

If your spouse responds to the divorce complaint, the steps in the divorce process include:

  • Temporary hearings to decide child custody, support, and visitation while the case is pending. 
  • Discovery is the process of gathering additional evidence to use during the process. Each party can obtain information and evidence from the other party. Refusing to respond to discovery can result in contempt of court and other consequences. 
  • Negotiation and mediation occur before the trial. The parties use the evidence gathered during discovery to analyze their chance of receiving what they desire. Mediation involves using a neutral third party to facilitate discussions between the parties. 
  • When negotiation and mediation fail, the case goes to trial. Each spouse presents their evidence during the trial, and attorneys argue about the law. The judge makes the final decision.

Our Rock Hill divorce lawyers are resourceful and skilled negotiators. We can secure fair divorce settlements through negotiations in many cases. However, our lawyers are also aggressive trial attorneys who do not hesitate to take cases to trial if that is the best way to protect your best interests. 

Primary Elements Involved in a Divorce Case in South Carolina 

The dissolution of marriage is the primary goal of filing for divorce. However, many other issues must be addressed when you end a marriage. 

The primary elements of a divorce case include, but are not limited to:

Child Custody

If the parties have children, the court must determine child custody and visitation. The parents are encouraged to negotiate a fair child custody agreement that provides for the best interests of the child and facilitates a close relationship between the child and both parents. 

South Carolina abolished the Tender Years Doctrine that preferred awarding a mother custody of young children. Today, the court does not give preference to either parent when the parents cannot agree on custody terms. Instead, judges decide custody matters based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Our Rock Hill child custody lawyers work with you to negotiate a custody and visitation agreement that protects your parental rights and the child’s best interests. However, we are prepared to aggressively fight for custody when necessary. 

Child Support 

A parent’s duty to support their child financially continues after a divorce. South Carolina uses standard child support guidelines to determine the base amount of child support. 

The guidelines base the support payments on the number of children to be supported, the custody arrangement, and the parent’s income. The guidelines also consider payments of health insurance premiums, work-related child care costs, and the child care tax credit when calculating child support. 

Unfortunately, child support cases are not always straightforward. Judges may consider other factors that support a deviation from the child support guidelines. Our Rock Hill child support lawyers have a thorough understanding of the law and can help you obtain/pay a fair amount for child support. 

Spousal Support 

Courts in South Carolina grant alimony in divorce cases. However, alimony is not guaranteed. There must be a need for financial support by one spouse and the ability to pay financial support by the other spouse for the judge to order alimony payments. 

Judges may grant different types of alimony, including the following:

  • Periodic alimony paid monthly 
  • Lump sum alimony paid in a single payment
  • Rehabilitative alimony intended to allow a spouse to obtain education and/or training for a job
  • Reimbursement alimony to pay a spouse for events that occurred during the marriage
  • Separate support and maintenance paid while the couple is separated but not divorced 

If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the terms of the agreement could impact whether you receive alimony and the payment amount. Talk with our Rock Hill alimony lawyer for more information. 

Property Division 

Spouses can negotiate a property settlement agreement to present to the court for approval. However, if they disagree on how to divide their assets, the judge makes the property division decision for them.

South Carolina is an equitable division state for property division in a divorce. Instead of dividing the assets 50-50 as you would in a community property state, the court divides the assets “fairly.” A fair distribution of assets might result in an equal share for each spouse, but that is not always the case. 

Marital property is subject to property division in a divorce. Separate property is not. Spouses often argue about the property classification and value when dividing their assets. Our Rock Hill property division lawyers fight to secure a fair share of the marital property for you. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Rock Hill Divorce Lawyers

We are available to meet with you about your case to discuss your concerns and goals. We’ll explain how we can help you achieve what you want from your Rock Hill, SC divorce, so you can move forward with your life. Our legal team can walk you through the South Carolina divorce process. Call today for a case review with a Rock Hill divorce attorney.