If you are planning to get divorced in Greenville, South Carolina, you may have many questions about the divorce process and your rights. While it is possible to get divorced without the assistance of a lawyer, doing so means that you would be responsible for ensuring that all processes are properly followed, that all forms are submitted, and that you take steps yourself to protect your rights. In general, it is in your best interests to seek the advice of a divorce lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina like the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC. How can you file for divorce in South Carolina? Here are some key steps to take:
- Fill out forms. If you meet residency requirements, the first step for filing for divorce is to fill out all divorce forms. The Complaint for Divorce must be properly filed. Where you live and where your spouse lives will determine where you can and cannot file for divorce. In some cases, you may be able to file for a Simple Divorce. If you have lived in South Carolina for one year, or if both you and your spouse have lived in South Carolina, if you and your former spouse have been separated for at least one year, have no marital debts or property (or agree to the division of all debts and property), and have no children, you may be able to file for simple divorce. However, if you don’t meet these requirements, you may still be able to file for divorce, but may need to use other forms. If you have questions about how to fill out these forms, where to file for divorce, and residency requirements in South Carolina, contact the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC, divorce lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina who can assist you with these forms and help you understand your rights and requirements.
- Types of Forms. There are several forms you may need to submit to the court. These forms include a cover sheet, a summons, a complaint for divorce, a certificate of exemption, and a financial declaration form.
- Service of Summons. The courts will not assume that you have given your spouse notice that you are filing for divorce. It is essential that you formerly serve your spouse with these documents. You’ll also need to provide a financial declaration form giving information about your financial situation. Divorce forms can be sent to your former partner by U.S. Mail, by personal service (if your spouse will sign an Acceptance of Service Form), by the Sheriff’s Office, or by a private process server.
- Answer. Your spouse needs to answer the summons and will need to provide their own financial declaration. If your spouse doesn’t answer, however, a default judgement may be sought as long as you can prove that your former spouse received service.
- Divorce Settlement Agreement or Trial. If you and your spouse agree about how you will divide debts and assets, how child custody will be handled, and whether alimony will be paid, you can submit a divorce settlement agreement to the court. However, if you don’t agree about how these matters will be handled, you have several options. You can take your disagreements before a judge, or you can each work with your own divorce attorneys to resolve these differences. While sometimes couples need to bring their case before a judge, it is often in your best interests to reach a settlement outside of court. The Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC are divorce lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina who can work with you and your former partner to reach a divorce agreement that’s best for you and your family. We can help you understand your rights and responsibilities. A divorce settlement requires negotiation. Having a divorce attorney on your side to assist you with the process can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
- Final Order. Once you have agreed about how you will divide assets, debts, and how child custody matters will be handled, a hearing will be held, and the judge can sign the Final Order of Divorce.
The divorce process in South Carolina can involve many moving parts. It is important that you fill out forms properly and send them to the proper county clerk’s offices. You’ll also need to meet all requirements to get divorced and settle all disagreements about child custody, division of assets and debts, and answer any other questions. It is often in your best interests to protect your rights during this process and seek the counsel of a divorce lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina like the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC. Our firm can help you with every step of the process, from filing documents to reaching a divorce agreement, to helping you understand your rights. Contact us today to learn more.