We often see parties who have discussed their divorce and believe they are in agreement on all matters. These issues could include custody, visitation, child support, other topics related to the children, asset allocation, division of debts, alimony, etc. If you and your spouse agree on all the issues of divorce, then the divorce may be considered “uncontested.”

Am I Required to Hire an Attorney?

South Carolina provides forms in a Self-Represented Litigant Packet to assist parties in uncontested divorce who choose not to hire an attorney. In theory, generally, these forms cover all divorce issues.  However, there are many ways to go wrong when you represent yourself. Procedurally and substantively, a self-represented (or “pro se”) party is held to the same legal standard and expectations as an attorney. The court will require you to strictly comply with all legal documents you submit and notice of hearings. You will also be required to testify and question your own corroborating witness at a final hearing. Although the court makes every effort to be accessible, there are a number of family court rules you could find to be pitfalls in this process.

Can one Attorney Represent both my Spouse and Me?

Even for uncontested divorces, one attorney cannot represent both parties. This would be an inherent conflict of interest. This rule exists because there is a significant risk that representing one client would limit the lawyer’s responsibility to the other client. This does not mean both parties must be represented, but it is advised.

Why do I need an Attorney in Divorce?

Additionally, divorce is more complex and emotional than most anticipate. Inevitably, some conflict or disagreement arises. Perhaps the parties have not fully discussed a particular issue of the divorce, or circumstances change during the separation. Ideally, an attorney can ensure all divorce issues are discussed. And provide a comprehensive approach to a settlement agreement. Furthermore, a lawyer will ensure your rights are protected now. And help you plan and understand a long-term solution.

Divorce also takes time. Separating two lives requires careful consideration, especially if the parties have been married for years. An attorney’s time and expense could save you heaps in the future. For example, if your settlement agreement does not fully address all matters related to the children or neglects joint financial debts. You could face additional litigation that is potentially more complex and expensive than the original divorce.

Divorce does not have to be difficult. An attorney can help you navigate this process. A good family lawyer will help you manage your expectations and seek a reasonable approach to save time and costs.

How Can I Get Started?

Contact a strong, experienced family law attorney at Hyde Law Firm, P.A., 864-804-6330. We are ready to help you through the divorce process. We will be with you every step of the way.

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