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The court will also consider evidence of domestic violence, the current situation and nature of the divorce, and the religious faith of the parents. The court shall place weight upon the preference based upon the child's age, experience, maturity, judgment, and ability to express a preference. (Code of Laws for South Carolina - Chapter 3; Sections 20-3-120, 20-3-130, 20-3-140) In all cases referred to a master or special referee, such master or special referee shall, except in default cases, summon the party or parties within the jurisdiction of the court before him and shall in all cases make an earnest effort to bring about a reconciliation between the parties if they appear before him. In making an award of alimony or separate maintenance and support, the court must consider and give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate to all of the following factors: (1) the duration of the marriage together with the ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce or separate maintenance action between the parties; (2) the physical and emotional condition of each spouse; (3) the educational background of each spouse, together with need of each spouse for additional training or education in order to achieve that spouse's income potential; (4) the employment history and earning potential of each spouse; (5) the standard of living established during the marriage; (6) the current and reasonably anticipated earnings of both spouses; (7) the current and reasonably anticipated expenses and needs of both spouses; (8) the marital and nonmarital properties of the parties, including those apportioned to him or her in the divorce or separate maintenance action; (9) custody of the children, particularly where conditions or circumstances render it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home, or where the employment must be of a limited nature; (10) marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties; (11) the tax consequences to each party as a result of the particular form of support awarded; (12) the existence and extent of any support obligation from a prior marriage or for any other reason of either party; and (13) such other factors the court considers relevant.There are anywhere from ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process. The clerk or the clerk's assistants will be the people managing your paperwork with the court. The clerk's office will keep the parties and the lawyers informed throughout the process in regards to additional paperwork that is needed, further requirements, and hearing dates and times. All divorce cases in the state of South Carolina are facilitated through the circuit court for that particular county.
Actions for divorce from the bonds of matrimony or for separate support and maintenance must be tried in the county (a) in which the defendant resides at the time of the commencement of the action, (b) in which the plaintiff resides if the defendant is a nonresident or after due diligence cannot be found, or (c) in which the parties last resided together as husband and wife unless the plaintiff is a nonresident, in which case it must be brought in the county in which the defendant resides. These two support amounts are then offset to establish which parent will pay the other parent for support of the child.
If you have served your spouse the divorce papers and your spouse has not responded or otherwise contested the divorce proceedings, you may be able to request a “default divorce judgment” from the Court, meaning that the Court would grant everything you requested in your initial divorce petition.
In order to qualify for a default divorce judgment, all of the following factors must be in place: • More than 30 days have passed since your spouse was served with the divorce papers • Your spouse has not filed an appearance or filed an answer to the divorce complaint (and has not otherwise contested the divorce filing) • Your spouse is not in the military OR your spouse has filed the appropriate Waiver under the Servicemembers Relief Act In order to proceed with the request for a default divorce judgment, you must file the appropriate Affidavit of Default.
You will also need to submit a request for hearing and proposed Judgment with your Affidavit.
The Court will review your request and schedule a hearing.