Divorce can be a complex and confusing process. Even if you and your spouse are in agreement on ending the relationship, there are still legal documents to file before a final order can be issued. For many people, filing for divorce is their first experience with the South Carolina court system. Not understanding the terms used in court during divorce proceedings can add to any apprehension you may already be experiencing. The following highlights some of the common terms in South Carolina divorce cases that you can expect to hear.
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Terms Used When Filing a Divorce in Aiken, SC
For residents of our area, divorce proceedings are filed through the Aiken County Family Court. Generally, one of the spouses will elect to file for divorce, and their spouse has the option to either agree or disagree with the filing.
The procedure formally begins with a complaint. This provides personal details, such as your name, address, and when you got married. It will also list other important information such as the reasons you are filing for divorce and whether any children are involved. Other terms you are likely to encounter through this initial process include:
Plaintiff: This is the person filing the complaint.
Defendant: This is your spouse, the person who the complaint is filed against.
Service: This certifies that your spouse has been informed of the legal action taken, which allows them to respond.
Counter complaint: If your spouse disagrees with facts or information contained within the original complaint, they may file a counter complaint disputing it.
Summons: This notifies your spouse of when they need to appear in family court for divorce-related proceedings.
Terms Describing Divorce-Related Issues
The rules and regulations regarding divorce proceedings are listed under Section 20-3-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Certain issues must be resolved before a final order can be issued in your divorce case. Terms and phrases you are likely to hear during this time include:
Divorce grounds: You may obtain a divorce in South Carolina on the basis of irreconcilable differences in your marriage, which avoids putting the blame on either party involved. Depending on the circumstances, you may also file for divorce based on fault grounds. These include marital issues such as adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness, and domestic abuse.
Contested divorce: In a contested case, your attorney, mediators, and the judge will help you resolve important issues.
Uncontested divorce: In an uncontested divorce case, the spouses agree on the terms.
Marital property division: Any property or assets you earned or acquired over the course of your marriage will need to be split between you and your partner on an equitable, though not necessarily even, basis.
Parenting plans: If there were children of the marriage, a parenting plan will be used in determining custody.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we provide the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need when filing for divorce. To discuss your options, contact our Aiken divorce attorney to request a consultation today.