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July 14, 2017

What are the Laws Regarding Divorce in South Carolina?

divorce law lawyer in Greenville SC

When it comes to a “fault” divorce, South Carolina recognizes four grounds. Those are physical cruelty, desertion, adultery, and either drug addiction or habitual drunkenness. To get a “fault” divorce you would have to prove reasonably without a doubt that one these things did occur. You would need to provide the court with evidence, which usually includes the testimony of a witness or a private investigator. This testimony will need to verify the couple’s lack of cohabitation or the infidelity of one party. To get a divorce in South Carolina, both spouses do not have to agree. You just need to prove that you have reasonable grounds for a divorce. Your spouse would have to have a very convincing defense to dispute your claims. A divorce can still be awarded if the spouses do not agree.

What is an Action for Separate Support and Maintenance?

South Carolina does not recognize legal separation. In the state, you are considered unmarried or married. A separate action is available that is called “An Action for Separate Support and Maintenance.” It is very similar to a legal separation in many other states.

In South Carolina, What is Classified as Living Separately?

If a couple considers themselves to be separated, they cannot live in the same residence. Each spouse must live in a separate location, which means they cannot live in different bedrooms of the same home and be considered separated. If you have two buildings on the same property such as a family home and a guesthouse, you need to check with your divorce attorney to see if the court will agree that you would be considered living separately. Lauren Taylor is an experienced Greenville divorce attorney who will help you with your divorce matters. Schedule a consultation today.

Does South Carolina Have Residency Requirements in Order for Someone to Get Divorced?

If you are filing for a divorce in the State of South Carolina, you must live there for at least year if your spouse lives

divorce law lawyer in Greenville SC

Greenville South Carolina Divorce Law Attorney

elsewhere. If both spouses live in South Carolina for at least three months, either may file for divorce. If one spouse has lived in the state for at least a year, he or she can seek a divorce in the state even if the other spouse has never even visited the state. A divorce is multi-faceted. As an example, child custody, alimony, visitation, the division of property, and child support all involve the family court getting jurisdiction over the nonresident spouse. Because getting jurisdiction is very complicated and plays an important role in the divorce process, so you will need to consult with Greenville divorce lawyer Lauren Taylor to ensure your case is not dismissed because of failing to meet jurisdiction requirements.

What is the Process for Filing for Divorce in Greenville, SC?

South Carolina has a Family Court system that handles custody matters and divorces throughout the state. There are 46 Family Courts in the state with one being allocated in each county of the state. When a divorce case goes before the judge, it is scheduled in the county where the defendant lives or in the county where the couple last lived together while married. If the defendant doesn’t live in South Carolina, the case will be set for the county where the plaintiff lives. Any South Carolina divorce petitions must be filed in Family Court.

What Role Does “Fault” Have in a Divorce in South Carolina?

Several things are considered during divorce proceedings. When the Family Court is making a decision regarding the property distribution, alimony, child support, custody, maintenance, and other matters, fault can be considered. If a party could have been eligible to receive alimony but was proven to have committed adultery, that individual is barred from receiving alimony in the state except under special circumstances. Serious ramifications can result in the divorce process because of fault. These matters should not be taken lightly, so you should make sure you have experienced legal representation from a Greenville divorce attorney.

How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce in Greenville, SC?

While divorce cases can vary significantly, there are few general rules regarding divorce in South Carolina. The request for divorce based on grounds of fault cannot have a hearing scheduled until two months after the Complaint and Summons were filed. In that case, the divorce cannot be given until three months after filing the divorce case.  If the divorce is based on the no-fault approach of a one-year separation, the plaintiff can file one year and one day of continuous separation. The divorce and the hearing for it could take place 30 days after serving the defendant with the divorce papers or if the defendant files a response before the expiration of the 30-day period, which could result in an immediate hearing. Regardless of whether it is an at fault or no fault divorce, a Family Court judge must sign the decree and ensure its filed with the Family Court Clerk.

How Will Greenville Family Court Divide Marital Property?

Family Court has the jurisdiction to divide any marital property in a divorce. There are no preset or established rules that state how the property must be divided. Several things are considered by the Family Court when making property divisions. Here are some factors that play a role:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Marriage length
  • Custody of the children
  • Physical and emotional health of the spouse and children
  • The current financial and economic situation for each spouse
  • Each spouse’s vested retirement benefits
  • Non-marital property owned by each spouse
  • Liens or debts for marital property
  • Personal debts and liens
  • Need for additional training or education for one spouse to attain same income potential as the other spouse
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
  • Fault or misconduct during the marriage
  • Tax implications
  • Who wants to retain the marital home

If you are seeking a divorce in Greenville, SC call on Lauren Taylor. An experienced divorce attorney, she will help you through your difficult time. Handling divorce and custody matters, she has the experience and knowledge you want your legal counsel to have. Call today to schedule a consultation.