In South Carolina, an uncontested divorce is a divorce where both spouses are in complete agreement regarding every single issue. This means that the parties fully agree what to do about dividing their assets and debts, handling child custody and visitation issues, making child support payments and possible spousal support, etc.
Though uncontested divorces are wonderful when they occur, the reality is that there are usually sticking points that prevent perfect harmony, even among couples who get along reasonably well. Uncontested divorces most often occur in cases where couples have not been married for very long. Shorter marriages tend to make agreement easier, because (a) finances may have been kept separate for the most part, (b) few marital assets and debts have been accumulated, and (c) there not be any children to fight over.
Because uncontested divorces only exist in cases of total agreement, most of the cases in Family Court are contested divorces, those in which there are issues that remain in controversy. To put it a different way, even a seemingly minor issue can prevent a divorce from being uncontested, as every single issue must be ironed out and agreed upon before an agreement is complete and able to be approved by the court.
While it is easy to get caught up in the desire to have an uncontested divorce, the most important thing is to make sure that your divorce is handled properly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending the necessary time to make sure that all issues are addressed and that your interests are protected. You only get one opportunity to do it right, and you need to fully understand all of the aspects of an important divorce agreement and to be sure you are comfortable with it before it is approved.
Just because you have a contested divorce does not mean you're destined for a long and expensive trial. The overwhelming majority of contested divorces in South Carolina are settled outside of court and a solution is eventually hammered out. By hiring an experienced South Carolina family law attorney, you can ensure that your concerns are addressed and that the process still moves forward with speed and efficiency. If you are facing a divorce, you are welcome to contact our office at (864) 598-9172 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and the options available to you.