Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

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Getting divorced in an uncontested way is becoming popular day-by-day. People, these days are suffering from stress and strain of modern life. To avoid legal complications spouses opt for such means. They try to part ways on good terms and maintain healthy relationship between themselves for the sake of their children. Although, it is true that in mutual separation, the spouses have to face less stress, there are a large number of forms that have to be filed as per the demand of the circumstances. If the divorcing partners are in complete agreement with each other regarding the various aspects of the dissolution, the procedure is much simplified. A mutual process is common in all the states in the United States. South Carolina has its own statute related to this type of termination. Separating spouses have to follow the steps as specified by these state laws in order to get an uncontested divorce in South Carolina.

In South Carolina, the spouse who files the action is known as the Plaintiff. The spouse who offers a response to the action is called as the Defendant. The Family Court of the Judicial Circuit is the venue of filing the action. Besides this little bit of information, you should know more on undisputed case in this state. Read the following to get a clear understanding of this process:

Grounds of Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

General grounds

  • Willful desertion for one year
  • Cruelty
  • Drug addiction and / or alcoholism
  • Adultery

No-fault grounds

  • Residing apart and separate for a period of one year

Residency requirements for Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

  • The partner who files the action must be residing in this state for minimum 1 year.
  • If both divorcing partners reside in South Carolina, the Plaintiff must have resided for minimum 3 months.

The action can be filed in one of the below mentioned 3 locations:

  • The county where the Defendant resides.
  • If the Defendant does not reside in this state and cannot be located, then the county of where the Plaintiff lives is selected.
  • If the divorcing couple resides in South Carolina at the date of filing, then the county wherein the couple last resided together is chosen.
The date of filing the action and the date of the final Decree must be separated by a minimum span of 90 days.

Forms essential for the divorce

Some of the forms that are needed in the action are mentioned below:

  • A Complaint for Divorce (SCBar SD-3): This form initiates the court process. It also establishes that the couple fulfills the requirements of the case and any claims to alimony have been waived.
  • A Summons (SCBar SD-2): This document is used to intimate the Defendant that the Plaintiff has filed an action and the Defendant has been offered 30 days to file an Answer.
  • A Certificate of Exemption (SCBar SD-1): This form endorses that mediation has been exempted from the action and if the visitation and custody issues are applicable to the divorcing parties, then these parties agree with each other regarding these issues.
  • A Family Court Cover Sheet (SCCA 467/SCBar-467): The names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of the divorcing couple are included in this document.
  • A Request for a Hearing (SCBar SD-7): The divorcing parties request a hearing.
  • An Application and Affidavit of Default (SCBar SD-6): After serving the papers to the Defendant, if 30 days have passed and no answer has been offered by the Defendant, this document is used. However, the Defendant must not be a military personnel in this case.
  • An Affidavit of Service (SCBar SD-5): After the papers are served by mail, this Affidavit is returned to the court clerk.
  • A Motion and Affidavit to proceed in Forma Pauperis (SCBar SD-4): When the Plaintiff cannot bear the expenses of the action, then they file this form.

One of the most significant benefits of an undisputed process is that the spouses can shape their future according to their own choices. Obviously this choice would be made by both while thinking about each other's needs and preferences. Moreover once the dissolution gets over, the partners can communicate with each other in a better manner so that the minds of children are not adversely impacted by the divorce. All these are true for couples fighting an uncontested divorce in South Carolina also. So think a lot about before making any final decision.

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