Absolutely. In the past it was very hard to get a divorce in South Carolina without the help of a lawyer. Many people tried, but the technical details of filing, service, writing the orders and scheduling hearings made getting a divorce without a lawyer almost impossible.
Recently, our South Carolina Supreme Court decided that limiting access to Family Court because of the technical details was not best for the residents of South Carolina. To help fix the problem, they created a packet of forms and instructions for anyone who wanted to get divorced without having to hire a lawyer. The packet includes all the forms needed for a simple divorce along with detailed instructions. Using this packet, it is possible for a couple to get a simple divorce without using a lawyer.
The key to using the packet is having an agreement between the husband and wife on how they will handle the end of their marriage. The agreement needs to address the 6 big issues in Family Court:
- Grounds for Divorce
- Custody, visitation and child support
- Division of assets and debts
- Restraints on future conduct
- Payment of costs and expenses for the divorce
With an agreement in hand before you go to the courthouse for the first time, it is possible to have a “no lawyer” divorce.
By choosing mediation as your route to this agreement, you greatly increase your chances of being able to get divorced without having to hire lawyers. Granted, your mediator may be a lawyer. But in your case he or she will have a completely different role. Instead of fighting for one spouse against the other. Their role is to help you identify the issues you need to address, discover potential solutions and work though those issues to reach an agreement. At the end of mediation, if you have reached an agreement, they will prepare a written document that puts your agreement in language both you and a Family Court Judge will understand and feel comfortable with.