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Is it Possible to get a Family Court Case Dismissed?


Much to your surprise, you discover that there is a future for your marriage after all. After some amount of mediation and introspection, you and your spouse have reconciled. But you have already begun the divorce process. You retained a Family Law attorney who specializes in divorces. What can you do? Is it possible to have the case dismissed?

Actually, it is possible.

Process of having divorce proceedings dismissed

If you want to put an end to the divorce process, you can do so by submitting a Motion to Dismiss or Consent Order of Dismissal to the Family Court. Before the Court grants your divorce, you can file these at any moment. To ask the Court to dismiss the previously filed divorce case, a skilled South Carolina family law attorney can create the Motion or Consent Order to Dismiss. If both parties are in agreement, the Court will typically approve dismissals swiftly and without a hearing if the paperwork explains why the matter should be dismissed.

Consequences of having your case dismissed

You must re-file for divorce if you cancel your South Carolina divorce case and then decide that you do wish to divorce your spouse. A new action will need to be brought, together with a new filing fee and a new valuation date for your marital assets and liabilities. You will effectively have to start over from scratch if you dismiss your lawsuit and later regret it.

Grounds to have a case dismissed in Family Court

Under the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, there are eight different grounds to support a Motion to Dismiss:

  1. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. When a party requests personal injury damages, which are outside the purview of the Family Court, this is a straightforward illustration of a lack of subject matter jurisdiction in the Family Court.
  2. Lack of jurisdiction over the person. This happens when the litigant does not reside in South Carolina or does not have the necessary relationship to South Carolina to maintain jurisdiction.
  3. Improper Venue. This is where a defendant is qualified to be sued in his or her home county, but the action is filed in the incorrect county.
  4. Insufficiency of process. There is no Summons, or there is some flaw with the summons.
  5. Insufficiency of service of process. When personal service is required or when the mode of service is inappropriate for the cause of the action.
  6. Failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. When a party to a dispute asks for a raise or reduction in an existing support obligation without making a serious change in circumstances allegation.
  7. Failure to join a party under Rule 19. An example of this is when either or both parties claim an interest in property titled in the name of a third party, but the third party is not joined to the action.
  8. Another action is pending between the same parties for the same claim. This could happen when the same action is currently before the Court in another county or in the same county.

The 365-day Rule

A case may be dismissed without prejudice after 365 days. Before the 365th day, the last hearing must be requested. If not, you must apply for an extension because otherwise, your claim would be dismissed. You have two options: either resubmit the action or request that it be put back on the docket. It is not merely a formality to ask to have a case returned to the docket.

We assure you that we do not have matters sitting dormant for this span of time. We take pride in being competent and attentive. We provide a variety of other resources. Some of them are as follows:

  • Anderson County Family Law Resources
  • Uncontested Divorce in Anderson, South Carolina
  • Belton Divorce Lawyer

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

Author Bio

Greg Steele is CEO and Managing Partner of Steele Family Law, a South Carolina estate planning and family law firm. With years of experience in practicing law, he has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, child custody and support, estate planning, probate, and other legal cases.

Greg received his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia and is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among Anderson’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2022.

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