At Harden Law, we know that divorce is a challenging and emotional time for families. Our experienced attorneys are here to provide compassionate legal guidance and representation for both individuals and families going through divorce in Indian Land.
With our support, the divorce process will seem less intimidating and you’ll feel better prepared for the legal proceedings ahead. We not only educate and prepare you, but act in your best interest to help you secure the best outcome in your divorce.
What Do I Need to Know When Filing for Divorce in Indian Land?
Having a general idea of how your divorce will proceed can help you know more about what to expect during the proceedings. Family courts handle separation, divorce, and property division, and can allow you begin using your previous last name if you wish.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
South Carolina allows you to file for divorce on five different grounds. Four of these grounds are what are called “at-fault” grounds, in which one spouse is considered primarily responsible for the end of the marriage.
The four at-fault grounds you can file under are:
- Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Use
- Physical Cruelty
If you prefer, or if none of the at-fault grounds apply, you have the option of filing for divorce under a what’s called a “no-fault” ground. What this means is that no spouse is considered more responsible than the other for the end of the marriage.
However, in a no-fault divorce, you must live apart for your spouse for one year before you can legally file for divorce in the state of South Carolina. For fault grounds, it’s possible to obtain a divorce sooner.
Keep in mind that you may need proof for the court to grant the divorce; what this proof may be will depend on your specific case. Our knowledgeable family law attorneys can let you know more about what to expect under such circumstances.
How Separation Works in Indian Land
The state of South Carolina doesn’t technically recognize separated couples—you and your spouse are either married or divorced.
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce but don’t currently have grounds to do so (remember, in a no-fault divorce, you need to be living apart for one year prior to filing for divorce), you can file an Order for Separate Maintenance and Support with the court.
An Order for Separate Maintenance and Support is an agreement that helps you and your spouse agree on major items while you’re waiting for your divorce—for example, child support and custody, property division, and bills to be paid.
This order can help protect your financial assets and secure assistance for your children until the divorce is underway. Separation technically begins on the day that you and your spouse no longer live together.
Agreeing on the Terms of the Divorce
Regardless of whether or not you file on fault grounds for your divorce, it’s usually in the best interest of the couple to agree on the terms of your divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree, a judge will decide on the terms of your divorce for you.
Some of the terms you’ll need to review for agreement include:
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- How to divide property and debts
- Child support
- Child visitation
Once you agree on the terms, your respective lawyers will ask the judge to review and approve the agreement, which is only official once signed by a judge. A family law attorney can help you negotiate and agree on terms!
When Will My Indian Land Divorce Be Official?
Once the terms of your divorce are finalized, a judge will grant the divorce, although it’s technically not official for a few months. Remember, you can’t date until your divorce has been finalized; otherwise, the court could see this as adultery and it could jeopardize your case.
South Carolina law also requires that a judge rule that reconciliation is not possible before granting your divorce. What this means is that a person called a master or special referee (sometimes a judge as well) will attempt to foster a reconciliation between you and your spouse. If they document that they were unsuccessful, you’re free to move forward with your divorce. The judge will ask if there is anything you or your spouse can do to save, or reconcile, the marriage prior to proceeding with the divorce.
The length of the divorce process will vary for every case and can depend on various factors, such as whether or not you’re filing on fault grounds, how long it takes you and your spouse to agree on the terms, and whether or not the case goes to court.
How the Right Divorce Attorney Can Help
At Harden Law, we know how much the right divorce attorney can make a difference in your case. Having a lawyer you understand and trust can help the process be less stressful and go smoother.
Hiring an attorney is essential to successfully navigate the legal process. With something as important as your separation, financial assets, and children, it helps to have professional handle your legal matters.
Our compassionate attorneys Haley Harden and Billy Harden are here to answer all your questions about divorce in Indian Land, prepare you for the legal proceedings, and to give you the best possible advice. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case!