How to Prepare for Divorce in South Carolina

The decision to end your marriage is never an easy one. There are certainly going to be plenty of emotions and you will probably have some disagreements with your spouse over how to distribute your property. The first thing to do when you have decided to divorce is to find a highly qualified divorce attorney to represent you. Your attorney will be invaluable in answering your questions and in guiding you through the process from start to finish.

Make Sure You’re Ready

One of the most common problems that people face at the start of a divorce is second-guessing their decision to end their union. It is important to make sure that you are ready to move on – without your current partner. If you have not already done so, consider counseling. Together or separate, some type of therapy will assist you in making certain that you have made the right decision. Take a few days, weeks, or even longer to be certain of what you want to do.

Separation

Couples seeking a no-fault divorce in South Carolina must be separated for a period of one year before they can end their marriage. The separation begins immediately once the couple begins living apart from each other. It is essential that you make note of exactly when the separation began so that you can prove when the year began. Keep records of anything that shows you were living apart such as records from an apartment rental or other documents.

Grounds for Divorce

There are some grounds that can be used for divorce in South Carolina. These include adultery, desertion, abuse, and habitual drunkenness. Utilizing one of these grounds does not require the couple to live apart for a year before the divorce. However, there must be enough proof and the divorce will likely be more difficult and complex than a no-fault dissolution of marriage. If you are considering using one of these grounds for divorce consult attorney Robert Clark as soon as possible to learn the best options for your particular situation.

Assets and Debts

Before you can make financial decisions to divide your property you need to have a full list of everything you own and owe. In South Carolina, property that you accumulated after you said your vows belongs to both parties. These assets may be distributed evenly between spouses, and the courts will likely start with a 50/50 division, although the court can deviate from that based on equitable division factors. There can often be some complex financial issues that crop up during a divorce. Make sure that you are aware of all of your property and debts so you will be able to come to a fair agreement. Gather documents necessary from all of your bank accounts, investments, and retirement funds as well as credit cards, mortgages, and other loans and debts.

Marital Home

If you and your spouse own a home or other real estate together, you will need to decide how it will be divided. One of you may choose to remain in the home, at least during the separation period. In many instances, a couple with children will want to ensure that they are able to live in the house with one parent. This helps to maintain a stable environment for the children as they adjust to the new family configuration. It is essential to consider how to handle the home because it is one of the first and most important decisions that must be made when you separate.

Alimony

When you separate, one party may require some money to cover living expenses and other costs. This money is called alimony and is also known as spousal support or maintenance. The amount of money needed will depend on a variety of factors including the income of both spouses, the couple’s expenses, the ability to make money, and other matters. Work through your finances to determine a budget that will cover your monthly expenses. If you need alimony, request it immediately at the time you separate. Keep in mind that alimony during the separation period is temporary. You may address permanent support needs as part of your divorce.

Child Custody

Children are cared for by both parents, but usually live primarily with one parent. This parent is sometimes known as the primary or custodial parent. The non-custodial parent will usually be allowed visitation with the children at specific times during the week. These arrangements should be worked out between parents in a manner that best suits the needs of the child. Remember that decisions regarding the children must always be made in their best interest.

Child Support

As with spousal support, money is needed to pay for the needs of children during the separation period. This money, called child support, is typically paid to the parent where the children live on a full-time basis. The amount of child support is calculated according to a formula that may take some matters, such as income, into account. The support is usually paid on a monthly or weekly basis and is paid directly from one parent to the other, or it can be paid through the clerk of the court with an added fee of five percent.

Working through Issues

There will likely be many various issues that become evident as the separation and divorce proceeds. It is a good idea to consider these potential matters and address them preemptively. This will help you have a smooth and less stressful divorce. If you are expecting a contentious situation, discuss the major areas of disagreement with attorney Robert Clark immediately so that they can be resolved more amicably.

Choose an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Once you have decided to separate and divorce, you need to speak with experienced divorce attorney Robert Clark as soon as possible. It is usually a good idea to consult with Robert Clark before the separation begins. This will help to ensure that you are following procedures and that you are making decisions that will be beneficial to you now and during the divorce. Robert Clark will assist you throughout the separation and divorce proceedings to achieve the outcome you deserve. Contact Robert Clark and the skilled Greenville divorce law legal team at Greenville Family Law to schedule a consultation today.

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