Greenville Divorce Attorney: Divorce in South Carolina

If you’re looking to file for divorce, it’s a good idea to talk to a Greenville divorce attorney. Before you get into the nuts and bolts of your final divorce, you have some pretty big decisions to make. One of the major decisions you’ll need to make early in the process is whether you want a traditional divorce or a simple divorce.

You No Longer Need to Cite a Specific and Detailed Grounds for Divorce

Technically, people no longer have to cite specific grounds for divorce. For example, years ago, you needed to reference a certain reason why you were filing for divorce. Over time, the courts realized that the reason was not all that important. While the courts still require petitioners to meet certain requirements, they don’t necessarily require a specific reason for the divorce.

This doesn’t mean you can’t cite grounds for your divorce. In South Carolina, you can list any or all of the following as grounds for your divorce filing:

  • You must have lived in the state of South Carolina for at least one year before you file for divorce
  • You and your spouse must have been separated from each other for at least one year without cohabitation
  • You must file in the county in which you and your spouse reside
  • You can cite specific grounds for divorce or irreconcilable differences

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about all this. Your divorce lawyer in Greenville will do this for you. Of course, they’ll need the information from you. However, they will help you decide whether you want to file a traditional divorce complaint or one for a simple divorce.

How Does a Simple Divorce Work?

South Carolina has something called a simple divorce. Some people refer to this as a “quickie divorce.” The reason they call it this is because your divorce will be finalized a lot faster this way. However, it isn’t that easy to qualify for this type of divorce.

In South Carolina, you qualify for a simple divorce if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have lived in South Carolina for at least one year.
  • You and your spouse have been separated for at least one year without cohabitation.
  • The two of you have no assets and debts to divide in the divorce or you have already resolved these issues.
  • You have no minor children with your spouse. If you do, then you have already agreed to a child custody schedule as well as to child support.
  • Neither party is demanding spousal support.

The nice thing about a simple divorce is that you don’t need to cite grounds for divorce. However, you are also not allowed to bring up the ordinary grounds for divorce in your complaint. For example, you can’t demand that you should receive spousal support because your spouse cheated on you. Now, this wouldn’t help anyway as adultery is rarely a consideration when it comes to determining alimony. But, as pointed out above, you cannot file a simple divorce if you or your spouse are demanding spousal support.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Take Advantage of This Option?

You may wonder why people don’t always opt for a simple divorce. The truth is that it is very rare that a divorcing couple agrees on the terms of the divorce. Contrary to what you may think, most of the clients our Greenville divorce attorneys help do not get along with their spouses.

In most of the divorces we handle, there are still a lot of issues to be ironed out. Some of these include:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Equitable distribution of retirement accounts, investments, bank accounts, etc.
  • Child custody and visitation arrangements
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Status of marital home
  • Costs of health insurance
  • College tuition for children

As you can imagine, it takes our divorce lawyers in Greenville spend the bulk of their time hashing out the details of these issues. Whatever terms they’re about to nail down with the other side will go into your final marital settlement agreement. Once both parties sign this, then you can proceed for a final divorce hearing.

Your Greenville Divorce Attorney Can Let You Know if You Qualify

When you first meet with your Greenville divorce attorney, you’ll have a chance to tell them your story. Give them a little background on your marriage and family situation. They’ll need to know if you have children. And, if you do, they’ll need their names and dates of birth.

It’s a good idea to come prepared to your initial consultation. Bring the following documentation and information with you so your attorney will have a chance to thoroughly review your case:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • Proof of residence for the past 13 months
  • A copy of your credit report and bank statements
  • A list of your household bills
  • Recent tax returns
  • Recent copies of any credit card bills, loans, etc.
  • Any legal paperwork related to domestic violence, restraining orders, etc.
  • Any correspondence you’ve received from your spouse or their divorce attorney

Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive. Over the course of your divorce preparation, your divorce lawyer in Greenville will need all sorts of information from you. But this is a good starting point.

It’s Best if You Retain a Seasoned Greenville Divorce Attorney

If you’ve been considering filing for divorce, it may be time to meet with a seasoned divorce lawyer in Greenville. They can determine if you qualify for a simple divorce. Even if you don’t, you may still meet the basic requirements for a regular divorce. The only way to know for sure is to meet with a Greenville divorce attorney.

Our associates have been handling divorce cases for years. They know what the requirements are for divorce. They also know what the various grounds are for filing a divorce complaint. More importantly, they know how to negotiate a fair marital settlement agreement on your behalf.

We suggest that you contact our office as soon as you realize you’re ready to file. In our experience, it is better to be the petitioner in a divorce case rather than the respondent. In a way, this gives you a little more power and control over the legal proceedings. With so much at stake, however, you shouldn’t go it alone. Let one of our legal experts help you navigate the divorce process and achieve the best possible outcome.

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