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This was not the plan. You never thought you would end up here at the wedding. But, alas, the best you can hope for is an uncontested divorce.

Even if you’re looking for a clean divorce, you or your ex-spouse can end up feeling more volatile or emotional than you had anticipated. If this occurs, having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side will help you remain composed during the process and prevent making rash choices.

Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce

Both spouses must concur on all divorce-related matters for there to be an uncontested divorce. Married spouses must complete particular legal conditions in each state to be eligible for this kind of divorce. According to South Carolina Code of Laws 20-30-10, 20-3-30 (2022), the following is required:

Residency in South Carolina

If you and your spouse now reside in the state, you must have lived there for at least three months prior to filing for divorce. The other spouse must have spent the year prior to the filing date residing in South Carolina if one spouse resides in another state.

One Year of Separation

You must meet the requirements for the only basis (or cause) for divorce in South Carolina that isn’t based on allegations of adultery. You must have lived “separate and apart” from your spouse for at least a year straight in order to qualify under that no-fault ground. Separate bedrooms inside the same residence do not satisfy the separation criteria.

Property Settlement

Either you and your spouse have worked out a plan for dividing your assets and obligations, or you don’t have any joint assets or debts.

An Agreement Regarding Children

You and your spouse do not have any minor children together (and none are expected), or you and your spouse have made an agreement regarding child custody, visitation, and support (which must adhere to the minimum standards set forth by South Carolina’s child support guidelines).

Fault in an Uncontested Divorce

Per S.C. Code § 20-3-10, in South Carolina, the court may also give you a divorce on “fault-based” grounds. A fault-based divorce may be granted by the court if your spouse:

  • committed adultery;
  • have been absent for at least a year;
  • was physically abusive to the point where your safety and life were in danger, and you would be unsafe if you continued to live with her/him; or
  • regularly under the influence of drink or drugs which led to the breakdown of your marriage

Steps to Filing for a Divorce

The documentation required in divorce proceedings can be overwhelming. These include the following:

  • Family Court Cover Sheet
  • Certificate of Exemption – While technically required, each county has different rules about this document being filed.
  • Summons for Divorce
  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Financial Declaration Form
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Request for Hearing, and
  • Final Order of Divorce

Keeping track of the documents to be served on your spouse (the Defendant) at each stage can be tricky. The Defendant has the option to reply, and keeping track of the days that have passed can be tricky. It is best to retain a divorce attorney to ensure that the documents have been mailed, properly document dates, and be on standby in the event that the Defendant replies to these documents with an answer you did not expect.

Do I Still Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?

In short, yes. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple steps listed above. There are numerous legal considerations in this kind of divorce, regardless of how pleasant the relationship with your new spouse may be. If you attempt to handle these intricate legal issues on your own, you can later regret your decision to get a divorce or run into financial or child support issues.

All of the required legal documentation must be managed by you if you decide to file for divorce alone. This means you will likely have a higher chance of making errors that can postpone or sabotage your divorce. This is frequently more time-consuming and inconvenient than employing an attorney.

You may think that you don’t need an attorney because you and your spouse are on good terms. Who knows if that will last? Along the way, you may come into the knowledge of hidden assets or secrets. You will want an attorney ready when things pop up from the left field.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do this all on your own. Let Steele Family Law assist you in this process. Book a consultation with us today!

The Process

Success for you and your family will be different. We want to serve you with care specific to what you need. That begins with knowing the beginning and desired outcomes. This allows us to navigate the journey – so you do not have to.

1. Get Prepared

Talk to the intake team to get ready to get together. Gather your documents and pertinent information. We are looking forward to meeting you!

2. Share Your Life

No matter the legal matter, we want to know about you and how we can help support you and your family.

3. Chart A Course

After our discussion, we will collaborate with you for a direction to strategically navigate your circumstance and move you toward your goals.

4. Advocate For You

Your family is our business and your best interest is our concern during this time where we find the best outcomes for you and your family through mediation or family litigation (sometimes both).

5. Turn The Page

Even after your Family Law matter is resolved, we are here as a member of the community and asset whenever you need us in the next chapter of your journey.

You Choose How Things Get Better

Anxiety-Fueling Fear About What’s Next OR Clarity and Peace Through The Process

Angry Arguments About Parental Time OR Happy and Healthy Co Parenting

Fighting, Feuding, and Bitterness OR Moving On and Getting Better

Trapped, Caught, and Afraid OR Confident, Cared For, Supported

We can help
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Anderson
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