Do You Need a Lawyer for Divorce?
Going through the breakup of a marriage is incredibly stressful and can take a heavy toll on both your physical and emotional health. In the aftermath, filing for a divorce in Aiken dissolves the legal bond between you and your partner and addresses practical matters concerning marital property, assets, and the care of children. While not required, having an experienced South Carolina divorce lawyer on your side provides the caring support and trusted legal guidance you need during this difficult time and helps to ensure your rights are protected.
Find out more about family law, and what you can do about fighting for your case, by contacting the Surasky Law Firm today. Request Consultation
The Divorce Process In South Carolina
Most people’s impression of the divorce process in South Carolina comes from television, movies, or the experiences of friends and family members. Before deciding whether you need a divorce lawyer, it is important to be aware of what is involved.
The first step in filing for a divorce through the Aiken County Family Court is to ensure you meet the legal requirements. You and your spouse must have lived in South Carolina for at least three months. You must also have separated for at least one continuous year, although this may be waived if you have fault grounds for filing a divorce, such as allegations of abuse, adultery, drug and alcohol addiction, abandonment, or other types of marital misconduct. Provided you meet the requirements, the process for filing a divorce generally includes:
Filing a divorce petition with the court: This is a legal document laying out the facts in your case, the reasons you are requesting a divorce, and what you are seeking in terms of a divorce settlement.
Submitting a financial declaration: This is a notarized form detailing all individual and marital property and assets, as well as any debts you and your spouse owe;
Requesting a hearing: When filing your divorce petition, you will also need to request an initial hearing before a judge, who will preside over your case;
Serving a copy of the filed petition on your spouse: You are required to have a copy of the divorce petition served on your spouse, either through the local sheriff’s office or professional process service. In addition to the petition, you will need to provide a notice of hearing and a summons to appear in court. Your spouse then has thirty days to respond. If they fail to do so, a default judgment may be issued in your favor.
Can I Get A Divorce In Aiken Without A Lawyer?
Under the South Carolina Statutes, there are important legal issues that must be resolved in any divorce case. These concern division of marital property, assets, and debts, determinations regarding spousal maintenance or alimony, and child custody/support. Generally, there are certain types of divorce in Aiken:
A simplified, uncontested divorce: This is when there are no children from the marriage, few assets, and you and your spouse agree on all divorce terms. In this type of case, you can request a final order after completing the above steps and the entire matter may be resolved in as little as a few months.
A contested divorce or any case involving children: Issues pertaining to the care of children and disputes concerning division of marital property and assets, spousal support, or other divorce-related matters make contested divorce proceedings more time-consuming, potentially costly, and complex.
While you are not required to have a divorce lawyer in either of the above situations, having one is strongly recommended. In a simplified, uncontested divorce, your lawyer can help in ensuring all legal documents are filed properly, preventing possible errors that can drag out your proceedings. In a contested case, it is absolutely essential to have someone acting as a strong advocate on your side, guiding you through important legal issues and helping you get the best possible outcome in a settlement.
How Having An Experienced Divorce Lawyer On Your Side Helps You
Decisions made in divorce proceedings can impact your relationships with loved ones, your financial security, and your overall well-being for years to come. To ensure you get the best possible results in terms of a final divorce settlement or court judgment, it is important to have an experienced Aiken divorce lawyer on your side. Actions we can take on your behalf include:
Determining important issues in your case: During an initial consultation, we can review the circumstances surrounding the breakup of your marriage and the overall situation to identify important legal issues that must be resolved.
Reducing the risks of conflicts with your spouse: Our Aiken divorce lawyer acts as an intermediary between you and your spouse, reducing the potential for personal conflicts.
Making sure all divorce documents are filed properly and responded to: We can professionally draft your divorce petition and related documents, oversee court filing, and request hearings on your behalf, ensuring all of the proper procedures are followed. We can also review any legal notices or summons’ you receive from your spouse and determine the appropriate response.
Representing you in divorce hearings: We will appear by your side at all divorce-related hearings, ensuring your rights and best interests are protected.
Negotiating a settlement: We can represent you in divorce negotiations with your spouse and their attorneys, ensuring you get what you are entitled to in any settlements.
Making strong legal arguments in front of the judge in your case: In the event your case goes to trial, we can gather the evidence needed and make strong legal arguments before the judge on your behalf. Making sure any final divorce orders are enforced. We can help ensure your spouse complies with any final orders or settlements, including child custody and support enforcement.
Request A Consultation With Our Experienced Aiken Divorce Lawyer Today
At The Surasky Law Firm, we act as a strong legal advocate on your side when going through a divorce and have decades’ worth of experience helping clients get the best possible outcome in any final divorce orders or settlements. To request a one-on-one consultation, call or contact our Aiken divorce lawyer online today.