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Divorce in South Carolina


Getting divorced in South Carolina can be based upon fault grounds, or the no-fault ground of living separate and apart from one another for at least one year. The fault grounds for divorce in South Carolina are adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness or drug abuse and lastly desertion. There is also a fifth ground for divorce in South Carolina which does not assign fault to either spouse. This is commonly referred to as the no-fault divorce, and can be obtained based upon both spouses having lived separate and apart from one another for a least one-year, without cohabitation at any point during that year.

The Impact of Fault in Divorce

Fault grounds for divorce can have an influence on other marital issues. The division of the marital estate between spouses (equitable distribution), awarding alimony, and custody or visitation issues. In determining a fair division of the property and debts of a marriage, the judge will certainly consider if one spouse's adulterous relationship or drug abuse depleted resources from the marriage. Adultery by a spouse also serves as a bar to that spouse receiving alimony in South Carolina. If a spouse is habitually drunk, then of course a judge will consider that fault in making a determination on the issues of custody and visitation of children.


Before a person can file for divorce in South Carolina, that person must have resided in this state for at least one year before filing for divorce if their spouse does not live in South Carolina. If the individual seeking the divorce does not reside in South Carolina, then their spouse must have resided in this state for at least one year. If both spouses live in South Carolina then the person seeking the divorce need only have resided in South Carolina for three months.

County of Filing

A complaint for divorce must be filed in the county where the defendant resides if the plaintiff does not reside in South Carolina, or the county where the plaintiff resides if the defendant does not reside in South Carolina. If both parties reside in South Carolina, then filing is proper in the county where the parties last resided together as a married couple.

Ending a Marriage Can Sometimes Be Difficult 

Divorce is a complex process filled with any number of legal issues. Every individual's own personal experiences through marriage can result in a large amount of legal issues, and an innumerable combination of those issues. No two marriages are the same, but the experience of a seasoned attorney can help to identify the common issues that may be lying just beneath the surface of those unique circumstances. There may be legal precedence available from prior appellate court decisions when the fog of emotions are calmed, and a clarity in perspective is gained. A spouse moving out of the marital home and leaving the other spouse to fend for themself is, more often than not, typically a starting point of the divorce process. The separation of spouses from each other's lives must go deeper than simply living in separate homes. The process of divorce, generally speaking, could be described as the legal untangling and severing of the ties that bind a married couple together. When children are involved, obviously all of the ties that once bound spouses together cannot be severed. That is why it is imperative under those circumstances that your attorney is working to achieve clear goals for you.  Working to ensure for their client that the necessary rearrangement of the ties that remain, for soon-to-be divorced parents, is the goal of a family court lawyer properly representing his or her client. In my opinion, hiring the right lawyer to advocate for your goals and objectives in the litigation is a necessity. Hiring the wrong lawyer can cost you more than you know. Call my office today to schedule your consultation appointment, or simply click below and provide me with just a few details to get started.


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