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How to Get an Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

“Both of us want a divorce and we know what we want.”

Does this sound like you?

If it does, you are not alone.

As a Charleston divorce lawyer, I have heard these words from many prospective clients, who want to get a simple divorce without a lawyer. 

The good news is that you can get an “uncontested divorce” in Charleston, Moncks Corner, Mt. Pleasant, or Summerville.

An uncontested divorce will cost you less money and time than a contested divorce.

And, you will have much less stress with an uncontested divorce.

What are the Legal Requirements for Getting An Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina?

There are three legal requirements for getting an uncontested divorce in South Carolina. These requirements concern your residency, divorce settlement agreement, and physical separation from each other.

  1. Residency. Where your spouse and you live is very important. You cannot file for a divorce in South Carolina unless:
    1. Your spouse and you have lived in South Carolina for the last three months; or
    2. Your spouse or you have lived in South Carolina for the last 12 months; or
    3. If your spouse or you are stationed in South Carolina on active military duty.

    You must satisfy only one of these residency requirements to be eligible to get an uncontested divorce in South Carolina.

  2. Divorce Settlement Agreement. Your spouse and you must agree on all your relevant divorce terms. For example, you will have to divide your house, cars, retirement plans, bank accounts, debts, alimony, and other marital property. You will also need to reach an agreement on child custody, child support, and decision-making for your child. And, alimony and many other subjects may be an issue that you will need to settle. To negotiate an enforceable divorce settlement agreement on these very technical legal topics, you should consult with a Charleston divorce lawyer or divorce mediator before you sign anything.
  3. Physical Separation For A Year. If you want a no-fault divorce, South Carolina law requires you and your spouse to live “separate and apart” for a minimum of one continuous year before you can be legally divorced. Living in separate bedrooms of the same house does not satisfy this requirement.

If you haven’t been living separately for a full year, you can start the no-fault divorce process by filing for a legal separation. You can learn more about how to get a legal separation in South Carolina by clicking here.

By resolving all the issues concerning your child and your finances through a legal separation, you will significantly reduce the conflict with your spouse. You will also save a lot of money that would, otherwise, be spent on unnecessary attorney fees.

How Fast Can I Get An Uncontested Divorce In South Carolina?

If you’ve been living apart from your spouse for 12 months or longer, you can get a no-fault divorce in South Carolina as soon as 90 days after your divorce case is filed with the family court. The exact timing for finishing your divorce will depend on: (a) whether you have filed the right documents to get a divorce, and (b) how busy the court schedule is. 

If you have not been living apart from your spouse for 12 months, you can start the divorce process by filing for a legal separation, as is explained here. Then, after you have been apart for one year, you can file a second case for a divorce to end your legal status as a married couple.

Do I Need A Lawyer’s Help to Get An Uncontested Divorce?

While it’s technically possible to file an uncontested divorce by yourself, working with a divorce mediator or a divorce lawyer can save you time and shield you from unexpected post-divorce surprises.

Many people get hung up when they try to negotiate their divorce settlement agreement. It can be hard to do.

If you have gotten stuck negotiating your divorce settlement or you fear that you are doing it wrong, I can help you. I am a certified divorce mediator, as well as a divorce lawyer with decades of experience.

You will get five major benefits from hiring me as your Charleston Divorce Mediator.

  1. See the Full Picture: As your divorce mediator, I will help you consider all aspects of your life after your divorce and help you resolve any minor disagreements that may have come up.
  2. Negotiate a “Fair” Divorce Settlement: I will work with you and your spouse on a divorce settlement that will be fair to both of you and serve the best interests of your children.
  3. Provide Legal Security: As your divorce mediator, I will prepare a written divorce settlement agreement for you that will be legally sound and enforceable after a judge approves it.
  4. File with the Divorce Court: You don’t have to do your divorce by yourself. Because I am a licensed Charleston divorce attorney, I can also prepare the many legal documents that the court will require for your uncontested divorce, file them with the divorce court, schedule your divorce hearing, and represent you in divorce court.
  5. Fixed Costs: As your divorce mediator and (if you choose) your divorce lawyer, I will charge you a fixed fee for my services. You will know how much it will cost before I start work for you. I will not charge you on an hourly basis for my work.

Get An Affordable Fresh Start Today

Divorce is the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

Call me now at 843-279-8480. I will be glad to answer your questions.

To learn more about my low, fixed price for helping you negotiate your divorce settlement, click here.

If you can’t pay our mediation fee now, don’t wait. You can still get started. A divorce loan might be the right choice for you. Click here to connect with Affirm Lending. Affirm will help you get a divorce loan and set up your payment plan.

Divorce Mediator Kenneth Peck

About Kenneth Peck

Kenneth Peck is a certified Charleston Family Court Mediator with more than 40 years of experience as a divorce attorney. He uses his knowledge and experience to guide couples in negotiating divorce settlements so they can save money, complete the divorce process quicker, and get better outcomes than they would at trial.