I’ve Been Served with Divorce Papers – What Now?

So you have been served with divorce papers in South Carolina and you don’t know what to do?  First, you need to make sure that you speak with an attorney immediately.  You have a limited amount of time to respond to the claims in the divorce complaint that you were served so you don’t need to waste any time meeting with an attorney.  It may take you meeting with several attorneys before you find someone you feel comfortable with representing you.

If you do not file an answer you may be giving up your right to some relief that you would otherwise be entitled to.  In other civil courts in South Carolina not filing an answer and going into default means that you have “agreed” to all of the allegations in the complaint filed against you.  While South Carolina family court rules change this rule a little bit in South Carolina Family Courts, it is still not a good idea not to respond.  Because the South Carolina Family Court is also a court of equity, the family court will allow you to bring up and argue issues of alimony, property division, child custody, child support and child visitation even if you do not file an answer – but you cannot contest any issue regarding the grounds for divorce.

Bottom line: meet with an attorney and retain them as soon as possible after you have been served.  If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, you need to make a written response to the complaint that was served against you so you are not assumed to agree with everything it says.

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