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Lexington County Divorce Lawyer

The Process of Divorce in South Carolina

The divorce process begins when you or your spouse files a complaint with the Family Court. The complaint will be based upon one of five grounds for divorce, and categorized as fault or no-fault. If you file for non-fault grounds, essentially you are not entitled to a divorce until after you have been separated for one year. If that is the case, you can file for separate support and maintenance during the pendency of the separation. This will resolve issues related to custody, child support, living arrangements, financial concerns and the like on a temporary basis. If there are fault-based grounds that are applicable, then you can file for divorce right away. Which court to file the complaint in will depend on the residency status of you and your spouse, and oftentimes where your children reside.

Gathering Evidence and the Discovery Process

Typically the next step in the process is called discovery. During this time, each spouse can request information through documents or depositions from the opposing party. In certain circumstances, your case may require an external expert to help substantiate your claims. My firm helps clients facilitate the use of these key professionals who can produce the needed evidence to support your case. Examples include:

  • A Certified Public Accountant can accurately assemble a financial snapshot of your marriage and that of your spouse.
  • An appraiser can assist you in the valuation of real estate and other property.
  • A child psychologist can help in high-conflict custody disputes in order to help determine the best interests of your child.
  • In situations where adultery is suspected or has been confirmed, it can be extremely helpful to hire a professional private investigator to obtain solid evidence in order to strengthen your case.

Negotiation and Litigation

All divorce matters, with the exception of the final divorce order, can be executed through written settlement agreements. Of the many benefits of negotiation, perhaps the most important is the time and money it saves over litigation. If there are some aspects of the divorce that you and your spouse cannot agree upon, I am prepared to go to court. Another alternative could be mediation, which is mandatory in some counties, in the event certain matters cannot be resolved outside of court.

Columbia Divorce Court Lawyer

Located in Lexington, South Carolina, the Law Office of Jim O'Connor represents family law clients throughout the greater Columbia area. Contact my firm to schedule a free initial consultation with a Lexington County divorce attorney.

Free initial consultation • Credit cards accepted • Available 24/7

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Law Office of Jim O'Connor
Post Office Box 97
Lexington, South Carolina 29071

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Law Office of Jim O'Connor
200 East Main Street
Lexington, SC 29072

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Phone: 803-388-8628
Toll Free: 800-836-2464
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