Reaching the decision to seek a divorce can be emotionally exhausting and frustrating. Pursuing a traditional, contested divorce can also be emotionally taxing, as well as financially stressful. The complexity of a divorce can lead to a drawn out legal process with extensive costs. An alternative to the contested divorce process is to seek an uncontested, or “simple,”divorce. To learn more about simple divorce in South Carolina, read the information below. Then, contact the McGrath Law Firm to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your divorce case.
Simple vs. Contested Divorce
South Carolina law allows spouses to seek a fault-based divorce, as well as no-fault divorce. Pursuing a divorce on grounds of fault means that one spouse is alleging the other spouse committed certain wrongs during the marriage. These fault-based grounds include adultery, physical cruelty, desertion, and habitual drunkenness. Conversely, a spouse can seek a no-fault divorce, meaning that both spouses have irreconcilable differences and can no longer remain married.
A no-fault divorce is not the same thing as a simple divorce. A simple, or uncontested, divorce means that the spouses are not asking the court to resolve any issues. Rather, the parties have resolved all major issues themselves, or certain issues never existed in the first place. To file for an uncontested divorce in South Carolina, certain criteria must be met, including:
- A residency requirement that one spouse has lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to filing for divorce, or both spouses have lived in South Carolina for at least three months before filing for divorce;
- The spouse seeking divorce is filing on a no-fault ground;
- The spouses have been living separate and apart for one continuous year;
- The spouses have no marital property or debt (or all marital property and debt division issues have been settled through an agreement); and
- The marriage produced no children, or there are no minor children living in the household (or all child custody and support issues have settled through an agreement).
If all of these requirements are met, you may be allowed to file for a simple divorce.
Divorce and Mediation
Divorce changes all aspects of life for both spouses. Your financial situation and your custody situation are two of the biggest changes that will occur during a divorce. To file for simple divorce, these major issues must be resolved outside of the courtroom. One of the most efficient ways to settle complicated divorce issues is through mediation. Mediation is a process in which both spouses, usually with their attorneys, sit down and work through issues with a neutral, third party mediator. This is a timesaving, cost-effective way to settle disputes. Resolving issues through mediation is often a helpful way to meet the “no major issues” requirement of filing for a simple divorce.
Contact Summerville Divorce Attorneys
At the McGrath Law Firm, our family law attorneys understand that divorce is a complicated process. We have helped numerous clients overcome complex issues through mediation so they can file for a simple divorce. Seeking an uncontested divorce can save you money, and help you move forward with your future more quickly. Contact our firm now to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.