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How long does it take for the final hearing for divorce on the grounds of one-year continuous separation?

Beaufort, SC |

I have submitted the papers last March 2012. Will I get a date on March 2013 or does it take more time than that?

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Attorney answers 2


The court will not schedule a hearing until one of the parties asks for a hearing by filing a request on a special form.

Your case is not ready for a final hearing until after you have been separated for a full year, without any intervening cohabitation. Additionally, if you do file a request for hearing and go before a judge before all the paperwork is in order, he or she is going to send you back to finish your homework before you show up again.

The forms for self represented litigants are on the S.C. Supreme Court web site, which I will link below. Pay special attention to the very first form, called Plaintiff Instructions. You must follow every instruction on that form, exactly, in order for your case to be ready for hearing. After you are sure your case is ready, then see the form, also on that site, called Request for Hearing. If you have completed every task in the instructions that is needed to get your case ready, then that would be the form you need.

Here is the site:

If in doubt, you may wish to take your papers to an attorney for a consultation and ask them to look them over and make sure all the procedure has been done properly.

This is general feedback only, it is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.



And after I complete the full year and ask for a hearing by filing the request, in your experience, how much more do I have to wait for the process to end? Are we talking about months?

Alexandria Broughton Skinner

Alexandria Broughton Skinner


The Court will schedule it at their next available date. How long the wait is depends on the case load and availability of judges in that county. (When people gripe about taxes, they need to remember that taxes are what pay for essential governmental services, like our court system! )


Ms. Skinner is absolutely correct. In my experience, folks who are using the "self-help" forms and instructions are still experiencing difficulties. I have met with several clients who attempted to do things themselves only to find themselves kicked back, repeatedly, by the court based on technicalities and improper procedures that are too numerous to cover here. So, if you can afford a lawyer to walk you through it, you may find it is money well spent. If you cannot, do not be surprised if you have to appear in court more than once to get it all done right.

This response is for informational purposes and is not intended to convey detailed legal advice on specific issues. Transmission of the information contained in this response is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The attorneys of Futeral & Nelson, LLC practice law only in jurisdictions we are properly authorized to do so and do not seek to represent anyone in any other jurisdiction where this site does not comply with applicable laws and bar rules. This site does not make use of any secure encryption technology, and any transmissions to the law firm of Futeral & Nelson, LLC may be intercepted by third-parties. DO NOT send us any information that you regard as privileged or confidential. The lawyers of the Futeral & Nelson, LLC are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this site or the linked sites without first seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your area.

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