April’s Blog Post Recap: What You’ve Learned about Divorce in South Carolina This Month
April’s blog theme has been “Divorce in South Carolina,” and I’ve published several blog posts specifically about the divorce process and special considerations you should keep in mind if you might be facing a divorce now or in the future. Whether you’re facing these issues or someone you care about might be facing them, it’s essential to understand as much about the legal process in South Carolina family courts before starting down the path to divorce.
In this post, I’ll recap what we’ve learned so far this month, highlighting the most critical points and giving you an easy-to-reference overview of the divorce process in South Carolina. So, whether you’re just curious or you need to prepare for an imminent separation or divorce, keep reading to find out what you can’t afford to overlook.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorces
In South Carolina, a divorce can be either fault or no-fault-based. A fault-based divorce requires one spouse to prove that the other spouse was “at fault” for the breakdown of the marriage. The only legally recognized fault grounds in South Carolina are adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness, or physical cruelty. The party alleging the fault ground is required to provide sufficient proof of the other party’s actions to enable the court to grant the divorce.
A”no-fault” divorce, on the other hand, does not require any proof of fault. Instead, a no-fault divorce can be granted based on the couple living separately and apart from each other for more than one year, which has led to the permanent breakdown of the marriage. A witness is required to prove that the couple has been living separately from each other for the entire year and that they have not reconciled their marriage. This is the most common type of divorce granted in South Carolina since it’s the easiest and typically least expensive case to prove.
Equitable Division of the Assets … and the Debts
South Carolina is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will divide the couple’s marital property in a manner that is fair but not necessarily equal for both parties. The family court judge will consider factors such as each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of the property, the duration of the marriage, the value of each spouse’s non-marital property, and the economic circumstances of each spouse in order to determine the equitable apportionment of the assets.
While most people think about which assets and accounts they will have at the end of the marriage, both parties must also remember that the Court will also divide any marital debts that were accumulated during the marriage. No one gets out of a marriage completely free, so to speak. You will want to make sure you have a clear understanding of the full financial picture of your marriage before seeking a final divorce order to ensure everything is accounted for and both parties know their post-divorce obligations.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Can Save You Tons of Monday
Mediation, which is required in almost every family court case in South Carolina, is an alternative way to resolve divorce cases. In mediation, a neutral third party (the Mediator) helps the couple and their attorneys reach a complete settlement agreement on all or as many of the contested issues as possible, thus negating or greatly reducing the need for a full trial on all of the issues.
When you, your spouse, and your attorneys pick the right mediator, mediation can be far less costly and far less time-consuming than the traditional divorce litigation path. Also, it is usually a much less confrontational process, which means that positive relationships can be preserved, which is essential when there are still young children who must be raised by you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
However, mediation may not be appropriate in cases where there might be a history of domestic violence or other serious issues which make mediation less likely to be successful. Before agreeing to alternative dispute resolution methods available in your county, be sure to discuss these issues in full with your attorney to get their opinion. If your case is ripe for mediation, your attorney will know how to accomplish that process for you.
Try to Think of Divorce as a New Beginning
Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and painful process, but it’s essential to remember that it can also be a new beginning. It’s an opportunity to redefine yourself and get start fresh. Instead of dwelling on the past and what went wrong in the marriage, try to focus on the future and the possibilities it holds. Use this time to reflect on your goals, passions, and values and take steps toward achieving them. Remember that you’re not alone and that there is a whole support network of family, friends, and professionals available to help you through this transition. By approaching your divorce as a new beginning, you can embrace change, find new opportunities, and create a happier, healthier life for yourself.
In conclusion, divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process that requires careful consideration and planning. If you’re considering a divorce in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand the legal process and to hire an experienced family law attorney to help prepare you for the challenges that may lie ahead.
Throughout this month, I’vee shared with you valuable information and insights into the divorce process in South Carolina, highlighting important facts that are often overlooked and certain tips to make divorce easier for you or for those you love. If you’ve missed the previous posts this month, use this handy guide to check them out:
- How Filing Income Taxes Works During or After a Divorce in South Carolina
- Can My Spouse and I Share a Divorce Attorney in South Carolina?
- What is the Role of an Attorney in a South Carolina Divorce?
- Three Things Everyone Can Learn from Celebrity Divorces
- The Top Strategies for Successfully Navigating High Net Worth Divorce in South Carolina
For Further Reading, see these articles:
- Thriving During Your Divorce: Strategies for a Successful Outcome in 2023
- How to Organize Financial Documents During Your Divorce
- Demystifying the True Costs of Divorcing in 2023: Uncontested vs. Contested
- Making Smart Decisions When Choosing to Divorce in 2023
- 5 Essential Divorce Agreement Provisions You Should Never Overlook
If you find yourself facing the prospect of a separation, divorce, alimony, support, child custody, visitation, or other family law issues, you need the help of an experienced South Carolina family law attorney to guide you through the difficult process. Ben Stevens is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has the experience to help guide you through the most complicated family law issues. If you have any questions or need more information, we’re here to help. Contact our office today at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation and let us help guide you through this difficult but important process.
Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an initial consultation.
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ABOUT J. BENJAMIN STEVENS
Ben.Stevens@offitkurman.com | 864.598.9172
Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina. His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.
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