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.
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Divorce Do's and Don'ts from a Top-Rated South Carolina Divorce Attorney: Winning the Judge's Favor and Protecting Your Future

Navigating the intricate labyrinth of emotions and legal complexities when contemplating a divorce can feel overwhelming and daunting. In such a pivotal moment, seeking clarity and guidance becomes essential to make informed decisions that will shape the course of your life. This blog post acts as a compass in those uncharted waters, offering insightful advice and practical steps to take if you find yourself at the crossroads of considering a divorce. Whether you're grappling with uncertainty or ready to take the next steps, understanding the upcoming process and potential challenges can empower you to embark on this journey with confidence and a clear sense of direction.


When it comes to making an impression, focus solely on one person: the judge. Evaluate your actions by considering how the judge will perceive them. If you believe your behavior might offend or irritate the judge, it's best to avoid it. Since self-assessment can be biased, it's crucial to engage a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the judge and possesses sound judgement. 


Avoid sending text messages, emails, or Facebook posts while feeling angry. Your spouse may exploit them if given the chance. Keep in mind that the judge might come across your enraged text or incriminating social media post. Ensure that whatever you write or say will not offend the judge or be something you'd regret seeing on the front page of the newspaper.


Just before a divorce begins, it is common for individuals to experience fear and vulnerability. Consequently, some may resort to making threats or engaging in disruptive behavior. It is crucial to refrain from such actions and avoid responding to them. Instead, if your spouse behaves inappropriately, consider contacting the police or pursuing an order of protection, which can be obtained without filing for divorce. Throughout this challenging period, especially if you have children, strive to maintain a sense of normalcy.


Avoid engaging in financial misconduct or attempting to conceal assets. It is probable that your spouse's attorney will discover such actions. Moreover, engaging in such behavior may backfire and result in the judge lacking trust in you. If you have concerns about your spouse's potential financial actions, we urge you to contact us promptly. We can initiate legal measures to safeguard your interests through court orders.


While it's important not to be overly suspicious, some individuals may monitor their spouse's movements through GPS or even spy on their computer using spyware. To address this issue, consider changing all your passwords and ensuring that your spouse is not associated with any of your cell phone accounts. If you still have concerns, exercise caution and reach out to us. We can take appropriate action to address this behavior once you have filed a case.


Divorce can be a highly stressful experience, impacting even the strongest individuals. To preserve your emotional well-being during this challenging period, it is important to prioritize self-care. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, ensuring sufficient sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. It may also be beneficial to seek guidance from a clergyman or therapist to gain perspective and support. Remember, this difficult phase will pass. Although you may currently feel overwhelmed and uncertain, your life will gradually improve. It is during the darkest moments that the dawn draws near. Many people not only survive divorce but thrive in their new lives. And so can you!

Consider these tips if you expect a divorce in the near future: 


It is advisable to refrain from making significant purchases or taking on new financial obligations during this period. It is prudent to minimize new debt and maintain low credit card balances while prioritizing liquidity. If you do not have personal credit, consider applying for a credit card and include your spouse's income in the application.


Sometimes individuals believe that quitting their job will give them a tactical advantage. However, if your judge suspects any financial manipulation, this strategy will likely have adverse consequences. It is advisable to maintain your current employment status unless you have a valid and compelling reason to pursue a job change.


This is an opportune moment to assess for any underlying health issues. If you rely on your spouse's health insurance, it is advisable to seek treatment while still covered under their plan.


If you are unsure about your family's financial situation, it would be beneficial to investigate. Obtaining copies of tax returns or other significant documents will greatly assist us in commencing the process. However, if you encounter difficulties in acquiring this information, rest assured that we will be able to obtain the necessary records during the discovery process of the case. 


 Document crucial conversations or information as a point of reference for future use. This becomes especially vital in the event of custody disputes. Safeguard the journal in a secure location to prevent your spouse from gaining access.


 Ensure you monitor your credit to avoid any unexpected debts that may have slipped under your radar.


Recording conversations is legal in South Carolina, but it may be illegal in other states. Check your state law before doing so.


Refrain from sharing anything on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, or any other social media platform that may potentially have negative consequences in the future. Although it is legally prohibited to delete information in anticipation of a divorce filing, it is advisable and permissible to deactivate your account.

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10 Important Questions to Ask a South Carolina Divorce Lawyer During a Consultation

We’ll go over the best questions to ask a divorce lawyer during a consultation. The answers should give you deeper insight into the attorney, their law firm, and how helpful they will be for your divorce case.


Filing for Divorce in South Carolina

Divorce can be stressful and confusing. If you’re considering filing for divorce in South Carolina, knowing what to expect and what will be expected from you can make the process easier and help you avoid costly mistakes. Your best source of information will always be an experienced South Carolina divorce lawyer. This overview will give you a general idea of what to expect from the divorce process.

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1307 Prince Street

Beaufort, SC 29902

  • Fax: 843-379-4887

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