South Carolina Rules of Family Court (SCRFC) governs all procedural rules in Family Court. The SCRFC combines elements from South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, South Carolina Rules of Evidence, South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure for juvenile actions, South Carolina Rules of Evidence, and South Carolina Appellate Court Rules.
Every South Carolina divorce case begins with the filing of a Complaint in Family Court. The first step is to either file the complaint or answer the complaint.
Here are the South Carolina Family Court Rules:
South Carolina Family Court
All family court cases are heard “in family court.” This means there are judges who only hear family law cases. Family court judges are elected to six-year terms. The Judicial Merit Selection Commission considers the qualifications and fitness of candidates and submits the names to the general assembly. Then, the state legislators vote and elect judges for family court. There are sixteen judicial circuits in South Carolina. Family court judges rotate primarily from county to county within their resident circuits, but may also rotate outside their resident circuits. For the majority of cases, you will not know which judge will be hearing your case until the Friday before the week of your court date.
Each South Carolina family court case begins with the filing of these initial documents: Family Court Coversheet, Summons, Complaint, and Certificate of Exemption. Either party may request a temporary order by filing a motion along with the Complaint or Answer. A temporary order is an order issued while the case is pending before a final order is issued. The temporary order could be for spousal support and maintenance, child custody, child support, use of the marital home, payment of bills, attorney fees or any other matter.
Financial Declarations and Discovery
After the initial documents are filed, the next step in South Carolina divorce cases is the exchange of financial declarations and discovery. Discovery tools include interrogatories, request for production of documents, request for admissions, depositions and subpoenas.
In South Carolina, parties in family court cases must participate in at least three hours of mediation unless they reach an agreement on all issues. Lawyers at Klok Law are also South Carolina certified family court mediators.
Trial Preparation and Trial
Most people do not go to trial. Approximately 90% of family court cases settle before trial. This last step in the process to prepare evidence and witnesses.
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