Divorce Laws in South Carolina

There are different divorce laws in every state, and the state South Carolina is no exception. It has its own provisions, and those spouses who wish to end their marriage should be familiar with them.

Grounds for divorce in SC

The grounds for divorce in South Carolina vary. The partners are legally allowed to separate if one out of five conditions is met. In four of these conditions, one spouse may file a case if the other party is at fault for ruining their marriage. These fault-based grounds include the following:



-Habitual drunkenness


However, these reasons for divorce in SC are not always applicable. If neither ground seems to fit, but one wants to initiate divorce anyway, no-fault divorce is an option. However, it is only applicable if the initiating party has been residing separately from their partner for at least 12 months.

South Carolina divorce process

If one wishes to divorce, he or she might have many questions about the SC divorce process and its stages. Of course, in order for the SC family court to deal with your case, it must fall under the state’s jurisdiction as stated in the South Carolina Code. The person initiating the separation (the plaintiff) should have resided in SC for no less than 12 months before filing the required documents. If the plaintiff resides outside of SC, the same conditions regarding the residence requirements apply to the other party. Another option is if the partners resided in SC together for no less than three months before taking legal action.

To initiate the process, certain papers have to be filed. You can use our service to help you file the documents and make the process easier for you. Remember that completing and signing the financial papers should be done with a notary public present. Once the documents are completed, they may be filed with the county’s court clerk. They can be filed either in the county where the two of you resided, or in the county where you or the defendant live.

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After the documents have been filed, the next step is to officially inform your ex by sending them copies of the documents, which can be done by mail. Your partner is legally bound to respond and state whether they agree or disagree with the terms set by you. If the other party agrees, the process can be finalized; if they object, then you might need to hire an attorney. After having agreed on the matters, your responsibility is to complete the “Affidavit of Default for Divorce” and “Request for Hearing.” Soon, the “Notice of Hearing” should be delivered to you. It will give you details on where and when the court will hear your case. You need to copy the document and have it delivered to your spouse by mail. Finally, fill out the “Final Order” and “Report” forms and come to court.

South Carolina divorce law particulars

Irrespective of the grounds, divorcing couples have to resolve various matters of their future lives, such as property division, custody of their children, and alimony. Deciding who will get what is always problematic, but if a consensus is not reached, a judge will decide everything for you, and neither partner will benefit from that decision. Moreover, you will require a lawyer’s assistance in this case.

South Carolina divorce laws regulate property division, and one that is often applied by the SC family court is equitable distribution, which implies fair division of both debts and property. SC divorce laws define marital property as obtained by the couple while they were married; that is, personal property such as cars, furniture, and real estate (land and houses). Of course, items that were inherited, received as gifts or acquired before marriage are not subjected to equitable distribution. While going through the divorce process in South Carolina, it would be helpful to list your current possessions for your attorney to see. If possible, do not forget to include information on when and where you received those items, and how much they cost. Remember to make a list of debts if there are any.

Keep in mind that while deciding on property division during the divorce process in SC, a judge will consider various factors, for example how long the marriage lasted, as well as the ages and how healthy the spouses are. Another factor to be considered is if either spouse was to blame, and how much each spouse’s financial contribution to their life together was. Thus, equitable distribution means seeking a fair division, but “fair” is not always the same as 50/50.

SC divorce laws on adultery

SC divorce law considers adultery as a legitimate reason for ending a marriage. Divorce laws in SC on adultery define it as two people meeting with each other for intimate relations while one of them is married to someone else. SC laws on divorce do not require the plaintiff to prove that their spouse actually had sexual intercourse with another person; although, proving that he or she had motive and opportunity is necessary. Divorce laws in South Carolina see inclination as the first element the plaintiff has to prove if he or she filed a case due to their partner’s adultery. You have to show evidence of your partner’s intentions to have sex with somebody else by demonstrating their sexual desire towards each other. Pictures, messages, love letters, or witnesses would do.

Divorce law in SC requires the plaintiff to prove that not only was the spouse inclined to have sex with a different person, but also had the opportunity to do so. It is necessary to prove that the two lovers had enough time in a private place to commit adultery. According to SC divorce laws, abandonment cannot serve as an excuse for adultery in any case.

It is very important to remember that if you are presenting evidence of your husband’s or wife’s adultery, divorce law in South Carolina says it must be legally obtained. Anything acquired illegally cannot be a part of the claim by any means. Besides the regulations of divorce law, South Carolina sees adultery as a crime that can be punished by half a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500, so it is important to remember that.

States divorce law