Georgetown Divorce Lawyers

Divorce can be an incredibly emotional experience. No one gets married intending to later become divorced. The divorce process can be very complex, especially when there are issues involved, such as child custody, alimony, and property division.

If you are considering a divorce, you need help from the Georgetown divorce lawyers at Indigo Family Law. We have experience dealing with all types of divorces and complicated family situations. We understand how personal divorce is and are here to help you obtain a positive outcome in this life-changing process.

How Divorce Works in Georgetown

In Georgetown, divorces are handled in the county’s family court, which has jurisdiction to hear cases regarding all domestic issues. In South Carolina, a divorce can be preceded by an action for separate maintenance and support, commonly known as a legal separation. A divorce can also be filed as a separate action on its own.

A separation in Georgetown Family Court is a temporary order that allows a married couple to separate their lives without becoming officially divorced. It handles the specifics of child custody and visitation, child support, and marital assets and debts until the case is finally resolved through a divorce. An order of separate maintenance and support does not end a couple’s marriage.

A divorce, on the other hand, is a legal end to a marriage. There are certain requirements that must be met to obtain a divorce in Georgetown. These requirements are discussed in depth below.

Grounds for Divorce in Georgetown

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), South Carolina’s divorce rate was among the lowest in the country in 2021. This low rate may be due to several factors, including the difficulty of obtaining a divorce in South Carolina. For example, the state has a lengthy mandated separation time, minimum residency requirements, and specific grounds under which a spouse can file for a divorce.

Specifically, there are five grounds for divorce in South Carolina. One of these grounds is based on no fault, and the others are fault-based. The grounds for divorce in Georgetown are as follows:

  • No-fault: This ground requires spouses to live separate and apart without cohabitation for one continuous year.


  • Adultery: To file for divorce on this ground, you must prove that your spouse has engaged in sexual intimacy with another person.


  • Habitual drunkenness: Filing for this divorce on this ground requires you to show that your spouse’s drinking habits have caused considerable problems in your marriage.


  • Physical cruelty: To file for divorce on this ground, you must demonstrate that your spouse committed actual personal violence against you or that their actions put your life in danger.


  • Abandonment: Filing for divorce on this ground requires that you prove your spouse has left your marital home for at least one year before your divorce was filed.

Types of Divorce in Georgetown

A divorce in Georgetown can be uncontested or contested. An uncontested divorce is when neither spouse must prove that the other did something to cause the breakup of the marriage, meaning the marriage’s dissolution was legally neither party’s fault. You can also file for an uncontested divorce if both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, including all related issues.

To obtain an uncontested divorce in Georgetown, you or your spouse must have lived in South Carolina for a certain amount of time, varying based on whether one or both of you reside in the state. Further, you and your spouse must live separate and apart from each other, in different residences, for at least one year. Finally, you must both agree on all issues relating to your divorce, including alimony, child support, child custody, and marital property and debt division.

A contested divorce is much more complex and occurs when you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce. If child custody is being contested, the court will often appoint a guardian ad litem to conduct an independent investigation into the child’s best interests and report back with their findings. Contested divorces often take longer to reach finality and are more expensive than uncontested divorces.

Georgetown Divorce-Related Issues

As mentioned, there are many issues that can be disputed in divorces. If you and your spouse can agree on the details of these issues, your divorce will likely be finalized more quickly and affordably than if you dispute them. Common issues that often need to be worked out in Georgetown divorce cases include the following:


Alimony is also known as spousal support and is paid by one spouse to another for a temporary or indefinite amount of time. Factors that determine who will pay alimony and how much they will pay include child custody arrangements, your education levels and employment histories, the length of your marriage, and any fault-based reasons for your divorce. It is important to know that if you are cohabitating with a romantic partner or involved in an extramarital affair, you are not entitled to receive alimony.

Child Custody

Determining which spouse will obtain custody of the children is often one of the most difficult decisions to be made and the largest points of contention in divorces. Physical custody, which is the location in which the children live, and legal custody, which is what parent has the final authority regarding decisions like medical care, schooling, and religion, are determined in a divorce. Child custody can be awarded on a sole or joint basis, with joint custody being the family court judges’ preferred outcome.

Child Visitation

In most Georgetown divorce cases, the parent who does not have physical custody of the children will be awarded visitation with them. Often, the non-custodial parent will get physical custody of the children on certain weekends and holidays and during a portion of summer vacation. If you and your spouse cannot reach a visitation agreement for your children, a family court judge will determine a schedule.

Child Support

If you and your spouse have joint custody of your children for an equal amount of time, child support may not be an issue for you; however, this custody arrangement is not often the case. The amount of child support paid in a Georgetown divorce is determined by South Carolina’s child support guidelines. These guidelines consider the number of children involved, daycare costs, healthcare expenses, and alimony, among other factors, in determining which spouse will pay what amount for child support.

Property Division

Marital property is that which was acquired during your marriage. South Carolina follows the laws of equitable property division, meaning the courts will divide your marital property between you and your spouse based on what is fair and equitable. Factors that are considered when dividing marital property include the length of your marriage, your income, child custody arrangements, and any potential marital misconduct.

Asset and Debt Division

When filing for a divorce in Georgetown, you and your spouse are required to disclose your marital and separate assets and debts. South Carolina family courts will attempt to divide your assets and debts fairly. Factors that are considered when these assets and debts are apportioned include, among other things, the value of the property and debts, the non-marital assets you each have, your income, and your earning potential.

Business Division

If you and your spouse own a marital business together, it will also be divided equitably by the court if you cannot reach an agreement. First, the value of the business must be determined. Then, it will be divided after considering factors such as your financial contributions and whether one of you is physically employed at the company.

Working out the details of these issues during a divorce can become extremely complex. Sometimes you and your spouse will be unable to come to an agreement regarding these issues and will need the help of a divorce lawyer in Georgetown. We will help you fight for what you deserve.

Evidence You Need for Your Georgetown Divorce Case

To begin your process of obtaining a divorce in Georgetown, there are several documents and other pieces of information you should bring with you to your initial consultation. Many of these documents will be used to support your requests for custody, alimony, and property division. You should bring the following information with you when you meet with us to discuss your divorce:

  • Documentation regarding your children, such as their birth certificates and social security cards


  • Documentation regarding your income, such as pay stubs and tax returns


  • Documentation pertaining to any real estate you and your spouse own, such as your deed and mortgage statements


  • Legal documents relating to your marriage, such as any prenuptial agreements and child support orders from other children you may have


  • Incriminating evidence that may prove fault, such as photos or text messages regarding infidelity or abuse


  • A list of questions you may have regarding what to expect during your divorce process

Generally speaking, you should bring any information you have that you think could be pertinent to your case. This includes documents that could help or hurt your arguments. It is important to be honest with your Georgetown divorce attorney so we can give you realistic expectations regarding your divorce process.

How Long Your Georgetown Divorce May Take

It is difficult to tell you how long your divorce could take before it is finalized because there are numerous factors that can affect your case. Your divorce could take months or years, depending on the issues you and your spouse disagree on and whether you have already lived separately for a period of time. The more issues the two of you cannot agree on, the longer your divorce will take.

For instance, if custody is being contested, you may need to wait for a guardian ad litem to be appointed and for them to complete their investigation and report. If asset or debt division is being contested, you may need to complete discovery, consisting of gathering evidence regarding your assets and finances. In some instances, you may need to schedule depositions and wait for them to be taken.

Regardless of whether you and your spouse can agree on all issues, there are specific waiting periods before your final trial can occur. In no-fault divorces, there is a one-year waiting period after the parties physically separate. In fault-based divorces, there is a 90-day waiting period.

What Your Divorce in Georgetown Will Cost

The cost of your divorce can vary greatly and is dependent on how many issues you and your spouse are disputing. An uncontested divorce will cost a lot less than one in which you are battling over custody, alimony, and complex financial issues. It may also cost more if you are appointed a guardian ad litem, participate in mediation, or need to take depositions.

Mediation in a Georgetown Divorce

In Georgetown County, you and your spouse are mandated to participate in mediation if you cannot reach an agreement as to all issues. Mediation is when a neutral party attempts to help the parties negotiate and reach a fair and reasonable settlement. You are not required to reach a settlement during mediation; however, if you do, you must get approval from the family court judge to move forward with the settlement and have your divorce finalized.

Steps in a Georgetown Divorce Case

Regardless of whether you are filing for a contested or uncontested divorce, there are several general steps in the divorce process. Depending on your specific circumstances, some of these steps can be eliminated, and some may take longer than others. The common steps in a divorce case are as follows:

  • Consult with a divorce attorney in Georgetown
  • Collect financial information showing your debts and assets
  • File your divorce complaint
  • Have your spouse served with the complaint
  • Wait 30 days for your spouse to answer the complaint
  • Attend temporary hearings
  • Participate in discovery
  • Negotiate a reasonable settlement
  • Participate in mediation
  • Attend your trial or final hearing

Again, each Georgetown divorce case is different. Your divorce may have more or less steps, depending on the issues being contested. This list is just a general overview of the steps that are common in many divorces.

A Georgetown Divorce Lawyer Will Fight for You

Obtaining a divorce will almost always be stressful. A divorce lawyer at Indigo Family Law can walk you through the process step-by-step. Schedule a consultation with us today so we can get to work on ensuring that your rights are protected in your divorce.