Divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. However, if you try to handle your divorce case on your own, without a divorce lawyer, you could find yourself out of your depth, particularly if your spouse has an attorney.
A family law attorney at Schiller & Hamilton could handle your divorce case for you, freeing you up to focus on your family, career, housing, and the many other issues one has to manage when going through a divorce.
An Overview of South Carolina’s Divorce Laws
The South Carolina Bar explains that the Family Courts are where people file for divorce. These specialized courts do not handle criminal cases or other types of lawsuits, like personal injury or breach of contract. Family Courts handle pretrial matters and trials of divorces, separations, the division of marital property like retirement and pension accounts, child support, spousal support and alimony, and child custody and visitation.
You can get a no-fault divorce in South Carolina. You must live apart for at least one year. Also, you must allege that the marital relationship is irretrievably broken.
South Carolina also allows divorce based on fault. The fault grounds for divorce in South Carolina include physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, abandonment, and adultery. Mental abuse or mental cruelty does not provide grounds for divorce in our state.
For a free legal consultation with a Divorce Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
Statutes Governing Divorce in South Carolina
South Carolina’s divorce laws start at S.C. Ann. § 20-3-10 and continue at great length. Here are some of the pertinent provisions you might want to know if you are contemplating or currently in a divorce in our state:
- Even if your divorce case initially included grounds like adultery or one of the other grounds allowed in South Carolina, you could switch your divorce case to a no-fault divorce. You would have to have lived apart for the one year required under the rules for no-fault divorces.
- The court can deny your divorce if it believes someone engaged in collusion to obtain the divorce.
- South Carolina has a residency requirement for divorce actions. If only one party lives in this state, they must have been a resident for at least one year before filing the lawsuit. If both spouses live in our state, South Carolina gets jurisdiction over the divorce when the plaintiff lives here for at least three months.
- The judge cannot grant the divorce decree until at least three months have passed since the filing of the petition. The exception is that when the grounds for the divorce are desertion or separation for one year, the decree can get issued earlier.
Our state statutes provide numerous other provisions that could apply to your divorce case. We will be happy to explain these provisions and answer your questions.
How a Divorce Attorney Can Help With Your Case
We treat our divorce clients how we would want someone to treat us if we were in their situation. You might call it our golden rule. We treat our clients with kindness while advocating on their behalf. Divorce is stressful enough. You should not also have to live in a virtual war zone. We fight your battles for you.
Our clients can expect these services when we handle their divorce cases:
- We listen to you and answer your questions.
- We will provide responsive legal services and update you regularly on your case’s status. We will also promptly answer your phone calls and emails.
- We review documents with you before you sign them and explain anything so that you understand.
- We prepare the documents the court requires, whether you filed for divorce (the petitioner) or the other spouse (the respondent).
- We perform the pretrial and trial work.
We will likely perform many additional tasks depending on your case’s circumstances. However, the discovery phase is one of the most significant portions of the pretrial process.
Discovery in South Carolina Divorce Cases
Divorce lawyers might ask questions about issues that are not admissible in court. However, they could still be allowed to ask those questions if they are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. For example, if you filed for divorce based on desertion or abandonment, we would look for evidence to prove that.
The primary types of discovery used in South Carolina divorce cases include:
Interrogatories are written questions that one party sends to the other. The party receiving the interrogatories must either answer them or object to the questions as improper. There are several grounds for objections, like vague, overly broad, unduly burdensome, or highly prejudicial questions. If the parties cannot resolve a discovery dispute, they can request a hearing and let the judge issue a ruling.
Requests for the Production of Documents
Requests for production of documents often accompany interrogatories. In a request for the production of documents, one party asks the other to send them specific documents, like bank statements or other things relevant to the divorce. Requests for production of documents often reference specific numbered questions from the interrogatories.
Requests for Admissions
Requests for admissions ask the party receiving the document to admit or deny certain statements or allegations. For example, in a divorce case based on the fault ground of adultery, a request for admissions might ask the spouse to admit or deny having extramarital affairs.
Depositions are usually a follow-up to interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and requests for admissions. In a deposition, both spouses and their attorneys are present. The lawyer who scheduled the deposition asks one person questions.
When the attorney finishes questioning, the other party’s lawyer gets to ask their questions. The two lawyers go back and forth until one of the parties has no questions on their turn. The deposition is then over. The court reporter who swore in the witness will prepare a transcript of the testimony.
If a person’s testimony in court is different from what they said during discovery, they can get impeached by their previous statements.
Our Divorce Lawyer Can Help – Call Us for a Free Consultation Today
You do not have to go through the divorce process alone. A divorce lawyer from our firm can be there with you every step of the way. Schiller & Hamilton can offer a free initial consultation. There is no obligation.