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Divorce. The thing you thought would never be an option. This isn’t the most positive of circumstances to retain a lawyer, but it doesn’t mean you should go through this process without one. You may be very emotional right now, a little confused, and apprehensive. An experienced Belton divorce lawyer is what you need to make sense of the mess. Let the team at Steele Family Law alleviate some of this anxiety.

Residency Requirements for Securing a Divorce in Belton

The person seeking the divorce must have lived in South Carolina for at least three months before filing for divorce, assuming that both parties are residents of the state. Otherwise, the defendant or the Plaintiff must have lived in the area for at least a year. You may file in the Family Court of the county where the defendant resides or the county where the parties last shared housing if both parties are residents of South Carolina. You may file in the county where the Plaintiff resides if the defendant does not reside in South Carolina.

Grounds for Getting a Divorce in Belton, South Carolina

You may also be granted a divorce in South Carolina on “fault-based” grounds in accordance with South Carolina Code 20-3-10. The Court may award a fault-based divorce to you if your spouse:

  • has been physically abusive to the point where your safety and life were at risk, and you would be unsafe if you continued to live with her/him;
  • committed adultery;
  • been gone for at least a year; or
  • routinely using alcohol or drugs to the point, it leads to the breakdown of the marriage

Process of Getting a Divorce

The Family Court has jurisdiction over family-related matters. Judges in Family Court have the authority to make rulings in divorce, separations, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, alimony, and the distribution of marital assets, such as pensions and retirement plans.

A divorce case is initiated when one spouse submits a Summons and Complaint outlining the grounds for the divorce, as well as, if necessary, the proposed division of the couple’s assets and liabilities. Where the marriage produced children, who are, at the time the case is initiated, under the age of 18, the Complaint will include addressing child support, visitation rights, and custody. The Plaintiff is the one who initiates the litigation.

The other spouse is personally served with a certified copy of the Summons and Complaint after the lawsuit has been filed. If the spouse has a lawyer, the lawyer may accept the summons and Complaint on behalf of the client.

In response to the charges in the Complaint and Counterclaim, they then have 30 days to submit an Answer detailing how they would like the Court to handle the case’s concerns.

Your case will move on as a contested divorce if your spouse files an answer to the divorce complaint that expresses disagreement with even a small portion of the claims in your Complaint. Several court sessions as well as discovery, the legal procedure for acquiring evidence, will undoubtedly be required of you. You will proceed to trial and have a judge decide on all of the unsolved problems unless you and your spouse manage to reach a complete settlement at some point in the procedure.

An Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce, in which you and your spouse can agree on all matters, is the simplest process. A Complaint for Divorce and related supporting documents are first submitted. Included in these documents is a marital settlement agreement stating the division of assets and your agreement regarding any children. Copies of these records are given to your spouse and filed with the Court.

Whether your spouse files an Answer to the Complaint within 30 days of receiving divorce papers will determine what step you will take next in the divorce process.

When the other spouse files an Answer in an uncontested divorce, the defendant should tick the proper boxes on the answer form to “admit” (or “agree”) to all of the allegations in the Complaint. After getting that response, you must fill out a Request for Hearing and submit it to the court clerk.

The other spouse can also decide not to submit an answer. If this happens, you can file a full Affidavit of Default for Divorce after the 30-day window has elapsed, along with a Request for Hearing and evidence that your spouse was duly served with the divorce papers.

Let us guide you through this process. 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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What our Clients Say

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have children, and there is no property between us. Will I have to go to Court?
Do I truly need a Belton Divorce Lawyer?

Areas Served

  • Anderson
  • Allendale
  • Belton
  • Centerville
  • Central