At Barker Family Law, our attorneys understand how difficult ending a marriage can be, and we know that you are likely to have questions about the process in South Carolina. That’s why we’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients about divorce in our state.
If you’re considering divorce, we’re here to answer your questions and help ensure you understand your rights and the legal process. We offer a free consultation so that you can proceed with confidence in our ability to represent your interests.
At Barker Family Law, our attorneys offer free consultations on marriage and divorce questions. Call us at 843-640-0532 or contact us online. From our Mount Pleasant office, we represent clients in the courts of Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties.
In South Carolina, divorce will be granted if one or more of the following occurred:
If both of you are South Carolina residents at the time you file, you both need only have resided in South Carolina for three months. If your spouse is a nonresident, you must live in the state for at least one year before filing for divorce. If you are a nonresident, your spouse must have resided in the state for at least one year before you file.
Real and personal property acquired during your marriage can be divided according to an agreement negotiated with your spouse. If you can’t agree on how your marital property should be divided, a family court judge will make that determination after considering the following factors:
To file for divorce in South Carolina, you must complete several forms, including a complaint for divorce and a financial declaration form. Certain forms will need to be signed in the presence of a notary. A divorce lawyer can help ensure that the forms are completed and filed properly.
Divorce mediation is mandatory in South Carolina when there are contested issues, but spouses are not required to reach a final settlement during mediation if in good faith they cannot do so. Mediation will be required if spouses can’t reach an agreement on child custody or visitation. If mediation fails to result in an agreement, litigation in court is the next step.
South Carolina has both fault and no-fault divorces. The only no-fault divorce option requires that parties live apart from each other for at least a year. Fault divorces can be sought for any of these grounds: adultery, desertion for a period of one year, physical cruelty, or habitual drunkenness or narcotic abuse. If you assert that your spouse is at fault for the divorce, you must prove it to the court with evidence.
According to a Lawyers.com survey, the average divorce in South Carolina costs $12,600, including $10,000 in attorneys’ fees. Other expenses include fees for court filings, the cost of copying and sharing documents, and compensation for expert witnesses and consultants (such as child custody evaluators, appraisers, or financial analysts). The costs for couples with minor children or those with high-value estates likely will be higher than the state average. If you allege fault in your divorce, the cost is likely to be higher than the average as well.
There is no set time for how long it takes for a divorce to become final in South Carolina. The time is as varied as the facts of your case — some might take a few months and others over a year. Factors that influence the time include:
A simple divorce in which the parties agree on all terms and have no children is likely to be the quickest and most cost-effective.
The divorce process in South Carolina is fairly straightforward: