SC Divorce Process

What to Do When Your Spouse is Delaying the Divorce Process in South Carolina

Fender Law, a premier Family Law firm based in Beaufort, excels in offering specialized legal
support for divorce proceedings. If you find yourself in a predicament where your spouse is
purposefully prolonging the divorce process, our skilled team at Fender Law is well-equipped to
steer you through the intricacies, ensuring a smooth journey towards a resolution.
What Happens During a Divorce Proceeding in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, as in many other states, the divorce process encompasses several critical steps
and factors. Below is a refined overview of the typical proceedings in a South Carolina divorce:

  1. Filing the Complaint: The divorce process usually begins with one spouse (the plaintiff)
    filing a complaint for divorce with the family court in the county where either spouse
    resides. The complaint outlines the grounds for divorce, which can include no-fault
    grounds like living separate and apart without cohabitation for a certain period of time, or
    fault grounds such as adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or desertion.
  2. Serving the Complaint: After filing, the plaintiff must serve the complaint and summons
    to the other spouse (the defendant). This can be done by a process server or through
    certified mail with return receipt requested.
  3. Response: The defendant has a certain period of time to respond to the complaint, either
    by filing an answer admitting or denying the allegations, or by filing a counterclaim with
    their own requests or defenses.
  4. Temporary Orders: In some cases, either spouse may request temporary orders for child
    custody, child support, alimony, or use of property during the divorce process. These
    orders remain in effect until the final divorce decree is issued.
  5. Discovery: Both parties exchange information and documents relevant to the divorce
    through a process known as discovery. This may include financial documents, property
    deeds, tax returns, and other evidence.
  6. Settlement Negotiations: Parties may attempt to reach an agreement on issues such as
    property division, child custody, visitation, and support through negotiation or mediation.
  7. Trial: If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case may proceed to trial. During
    the trial, both parties present evidence and arguments, and the judge makes decisions on
    contested issues based on the evidence presented and applicable law.
  8. Final Decree: Once all issues are resolved, either through settlement or trial, the court
    issues a final decree of divorce. This document officially terminates the marriage and
    outlines the terms of the divorce, including custody, support, and property division.
  9. Post-Divorce Matters: After the divorce is finalized, parties may need to address post-
    divorce matters such as compliance with court orders, modification of custody or support
    orders, or enforcement of the divorce decree.

Reasons Your Spouse May Attempt Delaying Divorce

Understanding the motivations behind postponing a divorce can help in resolving conflicts:

  1. Mental and Emotional Impact: Often, delays arise from an emotional strategy aimed at
    inflicting distress upon the other spouse.
  2. Public Perception Management: Some individuals postpone their divorce to shape how
    the public views the situation or to shift blame away from their own actions.
  3. Resistance to Change: The fear of facing new life challenges, such as relocating or
    adapting to altered financial realities, can cause individuals to stall the process.
  4. Decision-making Paralysis: The inability to make definitive choices can significantly
    extend the duration of the proceedings.
    The Consequences of Postponing Divorce
    Deliberate postponement of divorce proceedings can lead to several adverse outcomes:
  5. Mental Health Deterioration: Extended divorce processes can intensify existing mental
    health conditions.
  6. Economic Difficulties: The financial burden of divorce tends to escalate with time.
  7. Relationship Tensions: Procrastinating on divorce can worsen relationships with the
    former spouse and others.
  8. Obstructed Emotional Recovery: The absence of closure hampers both individuals'
    ability to move on.
    Additional Legal Actions for Continuing the Divorce
    Legal measures, including sanctions or setting a trial date, can motivate progress in the divorce
    Fender Law Offers Consultations for Divorce Cases
    At Fender Law, we understand the challenges of divorce proceedings and are committed to
    providing effective legal representation. If your spouse is intentionally delaying the process, our
    team is here to assist you in achieving a resolution. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
SC Divorce Process

How Divorce Proceedings Work in South Carolina

If you find yourself in a predicament where your spouse is
purposefully prolonging the divorce process, our skilled team at Fender Law is well-equipped to
steer you through the intricacies, ensuring a smooth journey towards a resolution.

Debt in a South Carolina Divorce

Navigating Student Loan Debt in a South Carolina Divorce: Your Responsibilities Unveiled

Divorce is a complex and emotional process, and matters become even more intricate regarding financial obligations. One such concern often arises is the responsibility for student loan debt. In the state of South Carolina, understanding the nuances of this issue is crucial for individuals going through a divorce. In this blog post, we'll delve into whether you are responsible for your ex-spouse's student loan debt in a South Carolina divorce.

Understanding Marital Property in South Carolina:

South Carolina operates under an equitable distribution system when dividing marital assets and debts during a divorce. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal 50-50 split but aims to achieve a fair and just division based on various factors.

Is Student Loan Debt Considered Marital Debt?

Whether student loan debt is classified as marital debt depends on when the loans were incurred. If the loans were taken out during the marriage, they are generally considered marital debt. However, if the loans were acquired before the marriage or after the separation, they may be treated as separate debt.

Factors Affecting Debt Division in a Divorce:

When dividing marital debt, the court considers several factors to ensure an equitable distribution. Some of these factors include:

  • Duration of the Marriage: The length of the marriage plays a role in determining the financial interdependence of the spouses.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Financial and non-financial Contributions are assessed. This includes factors such as homemaking, childcare, and career sacrifices.
  • Earning Capacities: The court evaluates the earning capacities of each spouse, taking into account their current and future financial situations.
  • Custody Arrangements: Custody arrangements may impact the division of assets and debts if children are involved.
  • Fault in the Marriage Breakdown: While South Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, the court may consider any misconduct that led to the marriage breakdown when making financial decisions.

Protecting Yourself:

If you're concerned about being held responsible for your ex-spouse's student loan debt, taking proactive steps is essential. This may involve:

  • Detailed Financial Disclosure: Ensure that all financial assets and debts are accurately disclosed during divorce proceedings.
  • Legal Counsel: Seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney who can advocate for your interests and help you navigate the complexities of asset and debt division.
  • Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement: Having a legally binding agreement in place before or during the marriage can provide clarity on financial responsibilities in the event of a divorce.

Contact our Family Law Firm Today for Guidance 

In a South Carolina divorce, the division of student loan debt depends on various factors, and each case is unique. Seeking professional legal advice is crucial to understanding your rights and responsibilities. As you navigate the complexities of divorce, Fender Law is here to provide the expertise and guidance you need for a fair and just resolution.


How is a Military Pension Divided in South Carolina

Dividing a military pension in a divorce can be a complex and often contentious issue. It is essential to seek professional legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney who is knowledgeable about both South Carolina divorce laws and federal military laws. At Fender Law Firm, we have helped numerous clients navigate the complexities of dividing a military pension in a divorce.


Tax Considerations That Can Impact a High Net-Worth Divorce

f you are going through a high net-worth divorce, it is crucial to partner with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand the legal issues you will need to address and the potential tax ramifications of divorce-related decisions.

Alimony is SC

Dos and Don’ts for the Alimony Payor in South Carolina

If you are facing alimony payments as a result of your recent divorce, you likely have many questions about how to handle the proceedings as the alimony payor. You might also want to know how the court determines the amount you’ll be paying and how long you have to support your ex-spouse.


Tips for Dealing With Common Child Custody Issues During the Holidays

The “most wonderful time of year” for recently divorced parents can seem like the most stressful time of year. Navigating many family changes, complex custody schedules, and confusing emotions, the holiday season can be downright dreaded for some recent divorcees. While navigating this time of year can feel overwhelming, remember that you are not alone, as many parents have been in your shoes.

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