Rock Hill Divorce Lawyer
Ending a marriage is difficult enough. Let us help make the process easier.
Divorce vs. Separation in Rock Hill
In South Carolina, there are currently five (5) grounds for divorce:
- Physical Cruelty
- Habitual Drunkenness
- Desertion for over 1 year
- One Year’s Continuous Separation (“no fault” )
In order to file an action for divorce in Rock Hill, a party must be able to prove one of the above grounds. Each of these grounds have “elements” or specific parts which must be proven in order to be granted a divorce. These different elements for each grounds have been laid out and defined by South Carolina courts. The party who brings the action, or the “Plaintiff” will have the burden of proving the elements to the grounds for divorce they have alleged by oral testimony and/or other corroborating evidence.
If a spouse cannot prove one of the above grounds for divorce, then he or she may still be able to file an action seeking an Order or Decree of Separate Support and Maintenance, which is often called “legal separation.” In order to file for separate support and maintenance in Rock Hill, a party must be living separate from their spouse. Once filed however, the parties can address those issues which are a part of their marriage, including distribution of property, allocation of debts, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and so forth. For all intents and purposes, parties can settle all of the issues between them that they could settle in a divorce action, except for the critical difference that they are still married. Once an Order or Decree of Separate Support and Maintenance has been issued, a party may then file for divorce once their one year’s separation has passed, and merge the separation order into a Decree of Divorce.
No matter which of the above actions a party files for, South Carolina has a specific residency requirement before a party can file. If both spouses live within South Carolina, then the parties must have resided here for at least three (3) months. Otherwise, if one of the spouses are not a South Carolina resident, then the other spouse will have to have resided in South Carolina for at least one (1) year.
Contested Cases and Settled Cases
Each and every divorce or separation, much like any other cases before the Family Court, can fall on a spectrum anywhere from hotly contested and contentious to amicable and uncontested. Honestly, in our experience, each case lands somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Spouses who have been friends for life can delve into chaos during a divorce or separation and fight over everything. Other spouses who argued throughout their marriage can be as easy to work with as possible. Obviously, the more a case is contested and litigated, the more expensive it will be for all parties involved. Rock Hill has mandated that parties enter into mediation in order to settle their cases on their own, and the vast majority of cases before the Family Court do end up settling. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees on everything. You must have a Rock Hill family law attorney who can give you sound advice and represent your best interests in a time that you already have so much stress to worry about.
No matter your situation, any time that you are facing a divorce or separation in Rock Hill, you need experienced representation by an attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected, and who can assist in settling the issues of your marriage or fighting for your rights in Court. Call us today to schedule an in-depth consultation to review your specific case and begin the transition onto the rest of your life.