Family Lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina
Linda Hayes with Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC, is a family lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina who understands how difficult divorce can be for families and children. Divorce is not just a personal decision a couple makes, but it is also a financial decision that can impact your assets, savings, property, and retirement accounts. It is also a decision that can impact your children’s lives for years to come. Consequently, if you have children and are getting divorced, you’ll be required to have a clear parenting plan in place for your family outlining your child custody decisions. Divorce can be a complex process, but you don’t have to go through this process alone. The Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC is a family law firm in Greenville, South Carolina who will take the time to get to know your family and its unique needs. We can assist you with all family law matters, ranging from child custody and child support, to divorce. In addition to practicing in Greenville County, we also practice all over the Upstate, including Pickens, Laurens, Anderson and Spartanburg Counties, and have since 1993.
Requirements for Divorce in South Carolina
In order to get divorced in South Carolina, you’ll need to meet several requirements. For example, one of the more important requirements is the residency requirement. Under South Carolina law, the individual seeking the divorce must have been a resident of South Carolina for at least one year before filing. Additionally, in order to get divorced in South Carolina, you must have grounds for divorce. There are five possible grounds for divorce in South Carolina, with four of these being “fault” based divorce and one being a “no-fault” divorce. It is important to select your grounds for divorce with care, as the grounds can impact other aspects of your divorce—from your division of assets to your alimony requirements.
What are the grounds for divorce? Individuals can get divorced on the grounds of: adultery, desertion (if your spouse has deserted you for one year), physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness (which includes the use of narcotics), and application for divorce after both parties have lived apart for one year. When both parties have lived apart for a full year, they can also file for a “no-fault” divorce. Filing for “fault” divorce in South Carolina, will require you to have proof that the other party engaged in adultery, physical cruelty, or habitual drunkenness.
Why would one want to file for a “fault” divorce? Individuals may choose to file for a “fault” divorce if they do not wish to wait one year to file for divorce, as is required in a “no fault” divorce. It also does not require you to leave your home in order to file. If you wish to protect your children or if your spouse committed an act of adultery, physical violence, or habitually used drugs and alcohol leading to the breakdown of the marriage. Individuals may choose to file for fault-based divorce because it may increase their chances of receiving child custody, alimony, and (at times) may place the innocent spouse in favor of receiving a better share of the marital assets, depending on the length of marriage, nature and extent of fault, and other factors. However, it is always wise to speak to a family lawyer like Linda C. Hayes, Attorney, in Greenville, South Carolina before choosing to file a fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorces can sometimes lead to long and acrimonious court battles. If children are placed in the middle, they too can be affected. However, there are definitely instances where a fault-based divorce is necessary and effective. For instance, if your ex does drugs and you wish to protect your children and home, or if you fear that your ex may endanger either you or your children, you may want to pursue a fault-based divorce.
If you are considering pursuing a fault-based divorce, speak to Linda Hayes, the family lawyer at Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina. We can take the time to review your case, your circumstances, and help you plan a clearer road map forward. Even if you ultimately choose a “no-fault” divorce, you’ll still need to divide assets and debts, and discuss child custody matters with your ex. These issues can become quite complex. Having a qualified family law attorney such as Linda C. Hayes, Attorney in Greenville, South Carolina on your side can make an immense difference in your case.
Things to Consider Before Getting Divorced in South Carolina
If you’re considering getting divorced in South Carolina, there are several things you’ll need to consider. Most couples spend years trying to repair their marriages before making the decision to file for divorce. If you are considering getting divorced, or if you have made the decision to get divorced, here are some things to consider.
- Collect financial documents. It is important to have a clear picture of your family’s financial health and situation before you file for divorce.
- Speak to the South Carolina family lawyers at the Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys, LLC. The law offers several protections to divorcing individuals in terms of assets, alimony, and parenting rights. However, if you don’t understand your protections, you may give up too much too soon or give up important rights during the process.
- Decide where you’ll live before the divorce is finalized and speak to your family law firm about how your choices can impact your rights during and after your divorce.
- Set realistic goals for how you’d like your parenting plan to look. In the vast majority of cases, both parents share custody of the children. Consider your children’s needs, your own desires, and schedules, and draft up a list of things you absolutely need, things you want, and things you’d be willing to negotiate with your spouse.
- Speak to your family attorney in Greenville, South Carolina about dividing bank accounts. In some cases, it is wise to divide bank accounts before filing. In some cases it is not.
- Gather family and friends for support. Divorce can shake the very foundations of your family. You’ll need supportive family and friends on your side.
If you are considering getting divorced in Greenville, South Carolina, speak to Linda C. Hayes, attorney, a family lawyer with years of experience helping the people of Greenville and the Upstate. We can assist you with all aspects of your divorce—from parenting plans, division of assets, alimony, and other concerns that arise during divorce. Don’t rush the process and lose out on important rights. Speak to a family lawyer today. Call for a consultation.