The South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ Help Center
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We provide unlimited support for all of our customers. We take great pride in being able to respond to our customers in a "human" to "human" approach (as you can see, we do not hide our toll free number 1-800-680-9052). We understand the need a customer may have to talk to a person rather than the typical automated voice or e-mail support system. Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and we do not give out legal advice. If you need legal advice we recommend that you contact a lawyer in your area.
FAQS About South Carolina 3StepDivorce™
Can I file for my divorce in the State of South Carolina?
In almost all cases, you file for a divorce in the state where you reside. This means that if you are a resident of South Carolina, you file in South Carolina and are governed by South Carolina's divorce laws even if you were married, for example, in California.
You must meet South Carolina's residency requirement for a South Carolina court to have jurisdiction over your divorce.
Will South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ work in my situation?
South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ works as long as both you and your spouse agree about everything, and both of you are willing to sign the divorce paperwork.
You do not have to sign the papers together, at the same time and place, but the South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ requires both spouses to sign.
Does South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ work if I have children?
It sure does. The South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ deals with all issues regarding children, including but not limited to, physical and legal custody, visitation and support, care, health insurance and tax deductions.
Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in South Carolina?
Not with South Carolina 3StepDivorce™. Thousands of people divorce in South Carolina every year without hiring a lawyer. South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ gives you all the divorce documents required by the court.
When spouses cannot agree about the terms and conditions of their divorce, they sometimes end up in court where a judge makes decisions for them. This is called a contested divorce, and hiring a lawyer is a good idea in this case.
But when a case is uncontested - when you and you spouse agree about everything - filing your own divorce cuts legal costs and leaves both spouses with more money each can surely use when they begin their new lives as single people.
What are the residency requirements for a South Carolina divorce?
The residency requirements for a divorce in South Carolina are as follows:
The plaintiff must live in South Carolina for at least one year. When both spouses are residents, the filing spouse must have been a resident for three months. The action may be filed 1) in the county where the defendant resides, 2) in the county where the plaintiff resides when the defendant is missing or does not live in the state, or 3) in the county where the spouses last lived together.
Must I prove that I am a resident of South Carolina in order to file for my divorce?
Yes. The divorce paperwork requires a signed authentication that you have been a resident of South Carolina.
This is a state law.
Signing false statements is perjury.
If the court requires proof for some reason, typically a South Carolina driver's license or state identification is sufficient. An affidavit of a corroborating witness testifying about your residency also works.
What if my spouse does not live in South Carolina?
Your spouse does not need to live in South Carolina to use 3StepDivorce™. After you have printed all the divorce paperwork, you simply mail the documents to your spouse and he or she signs them. After your spouse returns them, you file in your local county court.
Very often divorcing spouses live in different states.
What are the grounds for filing a divorce in South Carolina?
You must choose one of the following grounds to divorce in South Carolina. Without instructions to the contrary, South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ automatically selects the most common ground used for uncontested actions. However, if a different ground is desired, our support team makes the changes upon request.
The grounds for divorce in South Carolina are as follows:
No Fault: the spouses have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one year.
Fault: 1) adultery, 2) desertion for a period of one year, 3) physical cruelty, 4) habitual drunkenness caused by a narcotic drug.
How long does a divorce take in South Carolina?
Once the divorce paperwork has been filed in court, it takes at least 90 days for a divorce to be final. The 90-day start to finish time of the divorce is state law. After the 90-days, the judge may sign the final Decree of Divorce.
3StepDivorce™ saves time because all lengthy delivery times are eliminated when you print your documents from your computer. You control revisions and reprintings as necessary.
Do I have to appear in court?
In South Carolina, a divorce hearing is not typically required unless you and your spouse have children. If there are children involved, a short hearing, generally about 15 minutes, gives the court an opportunity to make certain that you understand the parameters of custody, visitation and support that are ordered as part of your divorce.
If there are no children, the process in very streamlined. Since you and your spouse are in agreement, there is nothing for the court to decide.
After my divorce, how long do I have to wait in South Carolina before I can remarry?
There is no mandatory waiting period in South Carolina.
Does South Carolina permit a name change as part of the divorce?
Yes. 3StepDivorce™ includes a protocol for the wife to take back her former or birth name as part of the filing. It is easier to effect a name change during the divorce rather than after the divorce is finalized. Name change questions are part of the account, and divorce documents are prepared appropriately.
Does South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ address the division of our property and debt?
Separate and marital property and debt is identified and addressed in your 3StepDivorce™ account. A series of questions itemizes property and debt, dividing and allocating both. The answers become part of the divorce documents, so it is clear to you, your spouse and the court how assets and liabilities have been divided.
Will I be able to address our retirement accounts?
Yes. You answer a few questions dealing with individual retirement accounts. You have the option of waiving rights to each other's account(s), or dividing any marital portion of an account by a specific percentage or a dollar amount.
What about the marital home?
Once again, a few questions inside your account deal with the disposition of the marital home. All possible scenarios are covered -- sale, planned sale, transfer from one spouse to the other, and co-ownership.
A home is often the largest asset a married couple has, and a significant portion of the divorce documents deal with this asset.
Will I be able to address spousal support?
A few questions in your account deal with temporary or permanent spousal support. Rights to spousal support may be waived, or a couple can agree to a specific amount for a set period of time. These questions define and limit the parameters of the desired spousal support, which often terminates upon remarriage or cohabitation.
Does South Carolina require child support?
South Carolina requires that a support order be put in place for all children.
You and your spouse have some latitude on the amount of child support based on your economic situation. If your situation warrants it, you can enter "O" as the support amount, and that is how the support order reads.
Child support and visitation are separate issues, and a divorcing couple may not use one to leverage the other.
3StepDivorce™ provides the South Carolina Child Support Guideline Worksheet, so you can easily calculate the state's recommendation for monthly support, but you have the option of taking these recommendations under advisement. The courts realize that you and your spouse know your situation better than they do, so they will approve any reasonable support amount, even if it is different from the one on the state worksheet.
How do I calculate how much child support I owe?
We provide South Carolina Child Support Worksheets inside your account. These worksheets make it very easy to calculate a monthly support amount. The support calculation is based on a number of variables, but the primary one is income.
Once you have calculated the amount, you and your spouse decide if you want to deviate from it and the reasons for doing so.
Can I deviate from the South Carolina child support guideline?
Yes. Once you and your spouse agree to a monthly child support amount, a judge reviews your decision. He or she will accept it if it seems reasonable. However, if it seems too high or too low, the judge will want an explanation why the two of you came to amount so much at variance from the state guidelines. Your explanation and reasons for it determine whether or not the judge accepts your proposed child support amount.
How do I know when I can deviate from the South Carolina child support guidelines?
The court considers the following factors as "possible reasons" for deviation from the state Child Support Guidelines: 1) education expenses for the child or children, 2) equitable distribution of property, 3) consumer debts, 4) families with more than six children, 5) unreimbursed extraordinary medical or dental expenses for either parents, 6) mandatory deductions of retirement pensions and union dues, 7) support obligations for other dependents living with the noncustodial parent or noncourt ordered child support from another relationship, 8) child-related unreimbursed extraordinary medical expenses, 9) monthly fixed payments imposed by a court or operation of law, 10) significant available income of the child or children, 11) substantial disparity of income (when the noncustodial parent's income is "significantly less than the custodial parent's income"), 12) alimony, 13) agreements reached by both parties.
In South Carolina, can child support be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child support can be modified based on a change in circumstances. In South Carolina, a change in circumstances means "a significant change in circumstances," generally, changes "not considered when the original judgment was entered" that are "permanent and substantial" and/or "affect one's current standard of living."
In South Carolina, can child custody arrangements be modified after the divorce?
Yes. Child custody arrangements can be modified when, for example, they break down because of the conduct of one of the former spouses.
Can we customize our child custody arrangements?
Yes. The terms and conditions of both sole and joint/shared custody are defined. You answer a few questions and your custody arrangements are prepared for you.
Can we specify our visitation/parenting time schedule?
Yes. You can either use a standard schedule that we provide in your account, or you can use our option to customize your own.
In South Carolina, how long do I have to pay child support?
Unless otherwise stated in a child support order, you are no longer required to pay child support in South Carolina when the child turns 18 or when he or she graduates from high school.
Child support may extend beyond emancipation for reasons associated with school expenses and extraordinary medical expenses or conditions.
In South Carolina, do any or all of the divorce documents need to be notarized?
Yes. Some of the divorce papers need to be notarized. The step-by-step filing instructions explain who signs what and whether a particular document needs to be notarized. The documents requiring notarization contain notary clauses below individual signature lines.
Do my spouse and I have to sign and/or notarize the documents at the same time and/or place?
No. If desired, each of you may sign and/or notarize a document at a different time and/or place.
As mentioned, very frequently spouses sign and notarize the documents at different times and places because they live apart in different states. This happens often, for example, when one of them has moved or is in the military.
In South Carolina, where do I file?
In South Carolina, the divorce papers are filed in the Family Court of the _____________ Judicial District, which is the local county courthouse, where the Domestic Relations or Family Law department accepts the divorce filing. The divorce documents are submitted to the Clerk of the Courts. You pay a filing fee, and the clerk assigns the case a case number.
What is the filing fee in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the fees are about $150. If you want to know the exact amount, you can call the courthouse and ask.
Filing fees underwrite the cost of the court system, but in the case of indigent petitioners these fees may be waived.
How can the fees be waived?
Normally, an indigent petitioner completes a very short form at the time of filing. This form asks the court to waive the fees because of financial hardship.
Can I stop a divorce in South Carolina once I sign up?
Yes. If you have signed up but not filed any divorce papers, then nothing must be done. If you have initiated the action by filing the Complaint for Divorce, your case can be dismissed by petitioning the court to do so. Normally, this can only be done by the filing spouse and must be done in writing.
Often the clerk of the court can help a person remove a case from the court docket.
Can I use 3StepDivorce™ in South Carolina if my spouse is incarcerated?
Yes, as long as you can mail (or deliver) the papers to your spouse and he or she signs them, 3StepDivorce™ will work for you.
What documents do I receive with my South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ account?
The documents you receive vary depending upon your individual situation, for example, if you have children.
The South Carolina 3StepDivorce™ includes the following documents:
- South Carolina Filing Instructions
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