In South Carolina, separation is technically referred to as a “separate maintenance order” or “separation and maintenance order.” Legal separation in SC is made when the spouses live in two separate locations. It is not considered a separation if each spouse lives in the same house, but in different rooms. People often think that they can save money by not having a lawyer for domestic agreements or by representing only one party. It`s almost always a mistake. If only one party is represented in the negotiation, development and implementation of the agreement, that advocate of the separation agreement will seek only the interests of that party. An internal agreement that is vague or does not clearly express the right of a party does not do that party any good if that party tries to impose the interest of its good business. An experienced lawyer in the separation agreement can ensure that the agreement achieves the objectives the client wishes to achieve and does not contain unexpected provisions that compromise the client`s objectives. Separation and the Order of Separate Support and Maintenance achieve similar objectives. A separate assistance and maintenance order can protect you and your spouse while your separation and divorce process is ongoing, including your financial interests and children. Separation is not the same as divorce. While the spouses are legally separated, they are still married.
A couple is married or unmarried in South Carolina. After consulting a lawyer, there are many things to consider and do before you separate or divorce. While it is important to consider the many “do,” it is also incredibly important to remember the “NOT to back” during or before family law litigation. Many people do – if you and your spouse can agree on reasonable terms in the separation agreement and there are no contentious issues, that agreement will most likely be included in the final decree of the family court. It is important to understand that technically, there is no “separation” under South Carolina law – you and your spouse are either married or unmarried. Separation means that you no longer live with your spouse, so if you are still living together, you cannot be considered separated. In order for the family court to accept an internal agreement, it must make two findings: 1) the agreement was reached after full financial disclosure (when the agreement deals with financial matters); 2) the agreement is in principle fair. The South Carolina judicial system has a financial declaration form that parties should complete, sign and exchange with a notary before they reach a national agreement on financial matters. An exchange of specific financial statements is sufficient financial information for the approval of a national agreement in South Carolina.
If the parties are represented by counsel for the separation agreement in the negotiation, development and execution of an agreement, there is a presumption that the agreement is fundamentally unfair. If one or both parties are not represented, there is no such presumption. In South Carolina, parties are not required to complete the separate support and maintenance order to complete the one-year separation requirement for an error-free divorce. Divorce is granted when all matters relating to your divorce have been definitively resolved and at least one of the parties has proven that there is a reason for divorce to obtain the court`s approval.