Divorce comes with a lot of questions, a lot of confusion about the process, and a lot of challenges that you’re going to be facing throughout the process. Today, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce in Greenville, South Carolina.
Where Do You File For Divorce in Greenville?
You cannot simply file for divorce wherever you like or where it is most convenient for you. There are rules about where you can file, and you’ll want to know what they are so that you get started on the right foot and don’t begin the whole process with a big mistake. The county where you file for divorce is called the venue and is clarified with the following information from South Carolina Code of Laws, found in Code §20-3-60:
- You can file for divorce in the county where your ex-spouse (the defendant) lives at the time that you file for divorce.
- You can file for divorce in the county where you (the plaintiff) live at the time, only if you cannot locate the ex-spouse (the defendant) or if the defendant lives out of state.
- You can file for divorce in the county where you (the plaintiff) and your ex-spouse (the defendant) last lived as a couple, unless you are not a resident of SC.
- If you (the plaintiff) live outside of South Carolina, you must file for divorce in the county where your ex-spouse (the defendant) currently lives in South Carolina.
This means that if you both lived in Greenville, South Carolina prior to separation, you can file for divorce in Greenville County. If you moved to a different county, after separating, then you can file for divorce in your current county or in Greenville County. If the defendant moved to a different county in South Carolina, then you must file for divorce in that county. However, if the defendant moved to a different state, and you are still in Greenville, South Carolina, you should file for divorce in Greenville County, because the defendant does not live in South Carolina.
Would You Benefit From Hiring a Private Investigator Before or During Divorce?
Many people want to know if they would be wise to hire a private investigator before filing for divorce. This all depends on what the issue is, what you are attempting to prove, and how you intend to file for divorce. It also depends on whether or not the given issue justifies the cost of hiring a private investigator. Some examples of reasons you might benefit from hiring a private investigator include issues related to alimony and financial reporting, issues related to child custody, and issues related to adultery. For example, if you can prove that your spouse committed adultery, then South Carolina law bars your spouse from receiving alimony, so hiring a private investigator might be extremely worthwhile in such a case.
This is also true in cases where you know or believe that your ex-spouse is lying about financial reporting or income. For example, your ex-spouse might be making a lot more money than they are revealing to you and to the court, and this could impact alimony and child support issues. You would benefit from a private investigator to help prove your concerns are valid.
In a case where you believe that your children are being exposed to negative or dangerous environments or where you believe that your child is in contact with someone that they should not be, such as in cases where parents are prohibited from introducing children to new boyfriends or girlfriends until the divorce is final, then a private investigator could help you to prove that what you believe is happening is actually happening. This could be worthwhile in cases where you want to protect your child from a negative or harmful influence and/or want to ensure that the custody and visitation issues are properly addressed.
However, if none of these issues apply, and if there is no legitimate benefit to hiring a private investigator, then you may be simply wasting money by doing so.
Do You Really Need an Attorney if Your Greenville, South Carolina Divorce is Simple?
In many cases, a divorce in Greenville, South Carolina will be very simple, without any complex legal challenges or disputes. In such circumstances, you may think that it’s not necessary for either party to work with an attorney. In other cases, you might thing that as long as one of you has an attorney, everything will be handled effectively. Some people even want to use the same attorney when filing for divorce, thinking that this will minimize the potential conflict of divorce. However, no divorce attorney can or will represent both parties in their divorce because this would be a conflict of interest. It is possible for just one spouse to hire an attorney, but this is not in the best interests of the spouse who chooses not to.
No matter how much you are planning to get along and resolve your divorce in a friendly manner, without any animosity, there are still going to be issues in your divorce that could cause you to get the short end of the stick. This is especially significant in cases where one spouse begins dating someone else, because this can quickly cause priorities and amicable situations to change and become less friendly. Ultimately, it is going to be in your best interests to at least discuss your case in a consultation with a divorce attorney. This way, you can find out what your legal interests are and how you might end up in a better or worse position than you think.
When your case involves the possibility of alimony, the challenges of child custody, support, and visitation, or issues concerning taxes, businesses, and various assets, you’re going to benefit from representation by a skilled Greenville, South Carolina divorce attorney. If your spouse has hired an attorney, this absolutely does not mean that you don’t need one. In fact, it is a sure indication that you do, because you don’t want your ex-spouse’s interests to be the only ones that are considered and addressed during your divorce. Contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm to learn more about the potential challenges and necessity of an attorney in your case.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.