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What to Expect:
Uncontested No-Fault Divorce
This information is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for legal advice. Contact our Summerville Law Firm if you would like to request a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.
At an uncontested final hearing, you may move forward with the approval of a settlement agreement, as well as any divorce or name change (resume maiden name).
Sometimes, you will only proceed with the divorce itself. For example, if you have already reached a settlement agreement and previously had it approved by the Court, or if you are domiciled in South Carolina, but this state does not have jurisdiction over the other party.
For our purposes, this page only deals with a "no-fault" divorce in South Carolina, or a divorce on the grounds of a continuous separation in excess of one (1) year.
If you have already moved forward with the approval of your settlement, you will still be under oath.
If you are not under oath, the Judge will ask you to stand, raise your right hand, and "swear in."
The Judge will ask the moving party (usually the Plaintiff) to call their first witness. For these purposes, you will be the party proceeding with the divorce.
At that point, your Summerville divorce and family law attorney will call you to the witness stand. Your attorney will point out the witness's chair for you.
Your attorney will ask you these questions. The questions will be phrased in a leading manner so that you only need to give yes/no responses.
You will return to your seat.
Your Summerville divorce and family law attorney will call the second witness. This person is a friend or family member who you have chosen to be your corroborating witness. This person's job is confirm that you have indeed been separated from your spouse for one year. This should be someone who knows you well enough that they can testify that you have neither lived with your spouse (cohabitated) nor otherwise resumed your marital relationship in any way- even for one night.
Your attorney will ask the witness these questions.
Your attorney will rest their case, unless you or the other party wishes to resume their maiden name. Click here to read about what to expect if you wish to resume your maiden name as part of a divorce or separation (separate support and maintenance action) in South Carolina.
The other party will have the opportunity to call witnesses, but this is extremely rare.
The Judge must ask if there is anything that can be done to reconcile the marriage. Most people answer "no." (The Court is not looking for an explanation!). If you do not believe you will answer "no," speak to your divorce and family law attorney ahead of time.
The Judge will make findings of fact about jurisdiction, the fact that no reconciliation is possible, and grant the divorce.
If an Order has been prepared ahead of time, the Judge will sign the Order. One of the attorneys will take the Order to the Clerk of Court's office to be filed. At that point, you will be divorced. Generally, your attorney will instruct you to wait at the Courthouse until the Order is filed, so that you will have your copy that day.
Click here to read about what to expect if you are also proceeding with the Court approval of a settlement agreement at the final hearing.
Click here to read about what to expect in general at an uncontested final hearing in the South Carolina Family Court.
Click here to read more about what to expect if you are requesting to resume your maiden name as part of a divorce or separation (separate support and maintenance suit) in South Carolina.
This page is not intended to be legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This page is provided for general information purposes only. You should consult with an attorney if you have questions about your specific issue or case. You are invited to contact our Summerville divorce & family law office to request a consultation with our counsel.
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