The notified spouse is the defendant, which means that he or she is not the party filing. The defendant or his or her lawyer then has thirty (30) days to respond, respond to the complaint and counterclaim, and tell the court what he or she wants the judge to do with respect to the problems in the case. The case is then tried by a judge who decides the issues or who reviews and approves an agreement between the parties. This mission resolves issues until the parties reach a final agreement on all issues or until negotiation. If the spouses are able to reach an agreement on a separate subsistence and support order, the judge will review the agreement to ensure that it is fair to both parties in the best interests of their minor children and that it complies with South Carolina law. After the signing of the marital agreement, it must be filed with the court.