Columbia Divorce Lawyer
Filing for divorce?
To begin the divorce process in South Carolina, one spouse must file a complaint for divorce in the county where your spouse lives or where you live if your spouse does not reside in South Carolina. You need a Columbia Divorce Lawyer, Pozsik And Carpenter are here to help you through your bad day. If you both still live in the state, you may also file where you last lived together.
SC residency requirements apply: you or your spouse must have been a resident of South Carolina for at least one year. If both of you live in South Carolina, you must both have lived here for at least three months.
In South Carolina, you can file for divorce based on five grounds. They include either a single no-fault ground that only applies if you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for one year or four fault grounds:
- Physical cruelty
- Desertion for more than one year
- Habitual drunkenness or habitual use of drugs
Division of property
We will ask all the hard questions and turn over every rock to make sure we have a full and accurate picture of the marital assets.
In South Carolina, the court divides marital property—the assets and debts you jointly acquired and owned during your marriage—equitably when you divorce.
Equitable distribution means fair, not necessarily equal, distribution.
Some property, however, is considered separate and not marital property, including property acquired—
- Prior to your marriage
- Separately during the marriage until the point of separation
- Through gift or inheritance
- In exchange for non-marital property
- Due to an increase in value of any non-marital property
Judges consider several factors in dividing marital property:
- How long you were married, both spouses’ age at the time of the marriage and at the time of divorce
- Any marital misconduct
- Value of marital property
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- Each spouse’s physical and emotional health
- Need for additional training of education to achieve that spouse’s income potential
- Non-marital property
- Any vested retirement benefits
- Awarding the family home to the spouse with physical custody of the children
- Tax consequences
- Any support obligations from a prior marriage
- Liens or other encumbrances upon marital property
- Child custody arrangements and obligations
Legal separation-aka Separate Support and Maintenance Agreement
If you and/or your spouse seek legal separation, similar rules to divorce apply. However, the grounds are not as strict and the judges do not require as much proof. Although you remain married, the following become legally defined:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Property—including house, car, furnishings, savings accounts, and other assets
- Restraining orders
Pozsik & Carpenter would be glad to help you with your case. Call our office today to set up a consultation! (803) 764-1105
Each case is unique and fact specific, results may vary.