Carolina divorce in law south

The Summons explains that a divorce action has been brought up against the receiving spouse and he or she should accept and answer the complaint.

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The Financial Declaration form acts as a form of "discovery": its purpose is to show everything that the plaintiff has, and it is signed by a notary for authenticity. Service can be performed by certified mail, a professional server, the sheriff or by simply receiving the forms voluntarily from the spouse and signing a form explaining this voluntary acceptance of service from the spouse. After being served the defendant must then file an answer to their spouse's complaint. The answer stands as a way for the court to be certain the defendant received the documents, and as a way for the defendant to state any complaints that he or she has.

The next step is for the defendant to declare his or her financial situation and file that information with the court.

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Once the defendant has done that he or she must take the original Financial Declaration and Answer, and two copies, to the Clerk of Court's office where the clerk will take the original, and stamp and return the two copies. At this point the defendant will mail a stamped copy of both forms to the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney.

If the parties have reached an agreement and they do not desire to proceed with a lengthy trial they can use Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process to complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement. The Divorce Settlement Agreement facilitates the division of property, assets, debts and liabilities as well as settles matters of child support, custody and visitation. After the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney receives the necessary forms, he or she should receive a notice of hearing from the county clerk's office.

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It is the plaintiff's job to mail a copy of the hearing notice to the defendant. An Affidavit of Service by Mailing must also be signed by both the plaintiff and a notary republic. Hearing Before the hearing the plaintiff must fill out a set of forms stating the conditions of the divorce, and the parties, property and children involved. If the divorce is considered no fault, then most of the issues involving the children must be squared away, including things like visitation schedule and living arrangements.


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During the hearing the judge will hear the case and make a decision that is equitable for both parties. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what seems fair for each party given the circumstances.

Once the judge has signed the Final Order of Divorce the couple is divorced. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to file the Final Order of Divorce with county clerk's office, and to send a copy to the defendant. The Supreme Court of South Carolina offers a helpful packet of information to help you complete your divorce. If you feel like you need more help, you can use Rocket Lawyer to Find a Lawyer who fits your situation and needs.

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Living separate and apart means that you and your spouse must live in separate domiciles not just in separate bedrooms. The separation must be intentional and the period of one entire year must be reached before filing the action. On the other hand, for fault-based divorces, you are not required to wait a year before filing for divorce. Fault-based grounds include adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, and desertion for a period of one year. Regardless of whether you file a no-fault or fault-based divorce, you have to wait two months after the filing of the divorce before there is a hearing and the divorce is granted.

A couple is considered separated when they live in separate places. These issues can include a request of the Court to determine temporary child custody, child support, spousal support, and even the division of assets also known as equitable apportionment. This can be done before the parties are eligible to proceed with the action for divorce.

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While there is not an exact amount of time that a couple must live together to have a common law marriage, the state of South Carolina dictates that a couple must share an intent to be married to one another, cohabitate, and present themselves to the public as a married couple. If a court determines a common law marriage exists, all the same rights and duties as a formal legal marriage exist and the marriage must be dissolved in the same manner as a formal legal marriage.

That means the same rules and guidelines set out above regarding formal divorce also apply.


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To file for a divorce in South Carolina, both parties must have resided in the state for at least 3 months, or if only one party currently resides in South Carolina, then that party must be a resident for a year prior to filing for divorce. Have more questions about divorce in South Carolina?

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The experienced Family Law attorneys at Sodoma Law York can help you navigate the divorce process from beginning to end. Please give us a call today at or e-mail info sodomalaw. We are here to help.