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Find a happier ending at Divorce.comTM Save time, money, and stress, guided by the most experienced team in online divorce

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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com provides an affordable and timely solution for obtaining divorce papers that can subsequently be used to file for an uncontested divorce. This web-based service allows you to prepare all the paperwork in a matter of days and avoid hiring an expensive divorce lawyer.

Working with Divorce.com doesn’t require a deep knowledge of the legal process. Our clients only need to provide some basic details concerning their marriage and divorce to start.

  • Answer the online questionnaire at your own pace. You can pause and return to it whenever you need to.
  • Make unlimited corrections to your answers.
  • Download divorce documents in only two business days after answering all questions. The papers will come in a PDF format.
  • Follow the filing guide with instructions on starting your divorce.

The Divorce.com service is an excellent way to save money and get the court-required paperwork that you need without leaving home.

South Carolina divorce forms

South Carolina Divorce Forms

Collecting the correct packet of papers can be an overwhelming task, since each person has different circumstances. For example, some couples have minor children and must file child-related forms with the rest of the documents.

The basic forms in South Carolina are the following:

  • Complaint for Divorce (SCCA400.02SRL-DIV)
  • Family Court Coversheet (SCCA467)
  • Certificate of Exemption (SCRFCMFORM02)
  • Summons for Divorce (SCCA400.01SRL-DIV)
  • Defendant’s Answer (SCCA400.05SRL-DIV)
  • Financial Declaration (SCCA430)
  • Proposed Parenting Plan (SCCA 466)
  • Motion with Affidavit to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (SCCA405F)
  • Affidavit of Service by Mailing (SCCA400.04SRL-DIV)
  • Affidavit of Service by Mailing (Answer) (SCCA400.06SRL-DIV)
  • Affidavit of Default for Divorce (SCCA400.07SRL-DIV)
  • Request for Hearing (SCCA400.08SRL-DIV)
  • Acceptance of Service (SCCA400.03SRL-DIV)
  • Judgment in a Family Court Case - Form 4F (SCRCP)
  • Final Order of Divorce (SCCA400.10SRL-DIV)

Some papers don’t necessarily apply to each divorcing couple’s case. For instance, the respondent can sign the Acceptance form instead of receiving copies of documents by mail. Therefore, the Affidavit of Service by Mail and the Answer won’t be required.

Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in South Carolina

Filling out blank forms can be nerve-racking, since it requires time and concentration. Besides, a petitioner needs to understand the principles of how to complete these papers without mistakes. So, here are a few tips.

  • Look through the forms and see which ones are needed to sign in front of a notary, e.g., the Financial Declaration form.
  • Consult the South Carolina Code of Laws to clarify any unknown terminology.
  • Collect the necessary documents and important information to fill out the forms, such as marriage and separation dates, each spouse’s address, employer’s addresses, etc.
  • A petitioner should ensure that he or she has agreed on all terms with the spouse (that is if they plan to have an uncontested divorce).
  • Fill out the forms with personal and financial data and check the boxes where needed.
  • Read the answers and correct the typos and errors.
  • Sign the papers and make two copies before going to the courthouse.

If you want to simplify the preparation process for divorce, get the paperwork completed online through Divorce.com.

By doing so, you won’t have to worry about collecting and completing the forms with the correct information. The system will do it for you. You will only need to answer several questions about your divorce terms and provide some personal data.

Divorce.com will then select and fill out the forms and send them to you in just two business days. You’ll also receive a comprehensive filing guide to help you file the papers with the court.

Filing for
Divorce in
South Carolina

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

Any family court in South Carolina has to establish jurisdiction over a divorce case to have the right to dissolve a marriage. It can be achieved if one or both spouses are state residents.

South Carolina law requires that at least one spouse has been living in the state for one year before filing for divorce. The case can be filed in the county where the petitioner or the respondent lives.

Grounds for Divorce

South Carolina state laws provide several grounds for divorce, including no-fault and fault-based ones:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion for one year
  • Cruel treatment
  • Habitual substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
  • Separate living for one year without cohabitation (a no-fault ground)

If the petitioner alleges fault-based grounds, he or she must prove them in court. Emails, texts, checks, and other documents can serve as proof. In addition, some fault grounds, such as adultery, will result in no alimony for the guilty party.

Initial Filing

When all the paperwork is ready, the petitioner must take it to the Court of Common Pleas in the appropriate county and file it with the Clerk of Court.

The initial papers include a Complaint for Divorce, a Family Court Cover Sheet, a Financial Declaration, a Certificate of Exemption, and a Summons.

The petitioner can bring the original papers with two copies in person or use the e-filing system, if available in their county.

Filing Fees

A person filing for divorce must pay $150 in cash or bring a money order or a cashier’s check. If they cannot afford this filing fee, South Carolina courts allow them to ask for a fee waiver.

A petitioner who wants to request it should file the following papers:

  • Motion with Affidavit to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (with an order at the bottom of the page)
  • A copy of the Financial Declaration with the data about all income, debts, and expenses

Both forms should be signed and notarized.

Serving the Respondent

After filing the papers with the court, the petitioner must deliver (or serve) the copies of the initial documentation to their spouse. There are four ways to do this.

  • Use U.S. mail (the petitioner must use certified mail with a return receipt requested).
  • Personally serve the other party, if they are willing to sign the Acceptance of Service form as the acknowledgment of service.
  • Use the Sheriff’s help.
  • Hire a private process server.
Waiting Period

The time a couple must wait to get divorced depends on the grounds. For example, if they are fault-based, the spouses must wait 90 days from the filing until the court hearing to get a divorce decree.

If the divorce is a no-fault divorce, the petitioner can ask for a hearing as soon as they have served the respondent and filed the proof of service. The petitioner can ask for the default judgment if the other party doesn’t respond in 30 days.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

A petitioner will receive a Notice of Hearing with the date when the spouses must attend the hearing. A copy should be sent to the respondent using certified mail 10 days before the hearing.

Before going to court, a petitioner must complete the Final Order of Divorce and give it to the judge after they have made the final judgment. Then, the petitioner must file it with the clerk and obtain a certified copy.

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Uncontested divorce 
in South Carolina

Uncontested Divorce in South Carolina

Getting an uncontested (amicable) divorce means that both parties agree on such issues as property division, child custody, alimony, etc.

All the agreed terms are placed into the settlement agreement and reviewed by the judge during the hearing. This mutual agreement should meet the following requirements:

  • property is divided equitably (the principle is called "equitable apportionment")
  • child custody and support must comply with the best interests of the minor children

The judge usually listens to each spouse and asks them questions. Then, the spouses receive the final decree at the end of an uncontested hearing.

An uncontested divorce doesn’t usually require lawyers’ involvement. Nowadays, spouses prefer to represent themselves independently without paying substantial legal fees. But the one issue they face is divorce paperwork. Luckily, it can be simplified by using Divorce.com - an affordable service to prepare court papers online.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in South Carolina

Child custody

The parents of minor children need to address the child-related issues during their divorce proceedings if they want to get a divorce. One way to do it is to file a parenting plan with living arrangements, visitation schedule, and custody details.

South Carolina family law provides the following types of custody arrangements:

  • Joint (shared) physical custody. A child lives in each parent’s house for more or less an equal time.
  • Sole physical custody. The child lives with the parent who has primary custody rights.
  • Joint (shared) legal custody. Each parent has equal rights to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and well-being.
  • Sole legal custody. Only the parent with primary custodial rights can decide how to raise their children.

If the spouses can’t agree on parenting responsibilities, the judge will decide custody issues in court. The factors they will consider are:

  • the child’s needs, health, and age
  • the child’s and parent’s wishes
  • each parent’s willingness to allow frequent contact between their ex-spouse and the child
  • each parent’s physical and mental health
  • the proximity between the parents’ houses
  • the stability of the residence (current and proposed), etc.
Child Support

Child Support

Both parents must support their minor children financially until they turn 18 (19 in some cases) and finish high school. The amount of money a child must receive is determined using the child support guidelines.

These guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model, where each parent’s share of child support depends on the joint and individual gross income ratio. The calculated sum includes basic expenses for food, transportation, education, etc.

If the judge believes the child support amount is unjust, they may deviate from the set guidelines. Usually, the judges consider the following factors:

  • how the property is divided
  • are there more than six children
  • child support from other marriages
  • the significant difference between the income of the parents
  • extraordinary medical expenses, etc.
Divorce Without a Lawyer in South Carolina

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in South Carolina

The couples who agreed to have an uncontested divorce can represent their case without a lawyer. It is much cheaper and less stressful because the spouses avoid tiresome court battles.

At the same time, they may face several challenges, such as complicated paperwork. For example, if they decide to proceed without a lawyer, they must collect and fill out the court forms required in their county to start a marriage dissolution process.

Finding all the forms may be very challenging. Even with state resources and libraries, sometimes it’s not entirely clear which form to use and how to complete it correctly.

There is a way to make this process less trying by using Divorce.com and preparing the legal papers online. This way, you won’t have to collect the forms by yourself and figure out how to fill them out.

Divorce.com will generate the entire packet of documents for your amicable divorce quickly and hassle-free. With the legal paperwork, each client receives detailed instructions guiding them through the filing procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in South Carolina?

Contested fault-based divorces with many disputes take 6-12 months on average, including the 90-day waiting period. However, amicable cases can be resolved in less than 3 months.

Can I get a free divorce in South Carolina?

South Carolina law allows the petitioner to ask the judge to waive the filing fees. But they must prove that they can’t afford this payment by filing the Financial Declaration with the Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.

How do I file for divorce in South Carolina?

A filing spouse must file the Complaint for Divorce, Summons, Financial Declaration, and a few other forms with the court. The spouses can also use the e-filing portal if available in their county.

How much does a divorce cost in South Carolina?

The average divorce in South Carolina costs approximately $12,500. The price can increase depending on the lawyer’s fees and the law firm’s prestige. If you choose Divorce.com, your divorce expenses will only include the cost of legal papers you need to file.