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Getting Your South Carolina Divorce Started


Are you considering filing for divorce in South Carolina? If you have never been through divorce before, you will want to learn how to get the divorce action started. Continue reading to learn the basics of obtaining a divorce in South Carolina.

There are 5 grounds for divorce, 4 of which are fault-based, and the last which is not, and they are: 1) adultery, 2) desertion for at least one year, 3) domestic violence, 4) alcoholism or drug addiction, and 5) no-fault divorce.

To obtain a "no-fault" divorce, both spouses must have lived separate and apart for one year.

Meeting the Residency Requirement

In order to get divorced in South Carolina, the plaintiff must have lived in the state for at least one year before he or she files the divorce action. If the plaintiff does not live in South Carolina, the defendant must have lived in the state for at least one year.

If you plan to file the divorce action, you will be considered the "plaintiff" and your spouse will be the "defendant." You would file the divorce action in the county where you live, or if you don't live in South Carolina, you will file the divorce in the county where your spouse resides.

Once the forms have been filed with the Clerk of Court, your spouse must be served the divorce papers. This can be done through one of the following methods:

  • U.S. mail (certified mail, return receipt requested or restricted delivery)
  • Sheriff's office
  • A private process server
  • Personal service (your spouse signs a form called Acceptance of Service, and you file the signed copy with the court)

Agreeing to a Divorce Settlement

Once your spouse has been served the divorce papers, the next step is for you and your spouse, with the guidance of your respective divorce attorneys, to reach a divorce settlement agreement.

During this time, you will try to reach an agreement on all important matters, such as child custody and support, property and debt division and alimony (if any).

If you and your spouse can work together to reach a satisfactory agreement in a no-fault divorce, then your divorce can be finalized in as little as 3 months after filing the complaint.

To learn more about filing for divorce in Columbia, South Carolina, contact Masella Law Firm, P.A. for your personal consultation!

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