There are four “fault” grounds for divorce recognized in the state of South Carolina. Those four fault grounds are:
- Physical Cruelty
- Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Addiction and Abuse
One “no-fault” ground that is recognized in South Carolina family court is called “Living Separate and Apart for One Year Without Cohabitation.” To get a divorce in Greenville, you will need to convincingly prove that at least one of those grounds was committed by your spouse. It must be proven with evidence that is considered legally sufficient. This means evidence that will satisfy the judge that one of those fault grounds is existent. This can be done by the testimony of a third party, such as a private investigator or the testimony of a witness to verify one party’s infidelity or the couple’s lack of cohabitation.
Must Both Spouses Come to an Agreement for a Divorce in Greenville?
Even if your spouse disagrees, he or she cannot keep you from getting divorced if you prove you have reasonable grounds for a divorce and your spouse doesn’t have a proven and convincing defense that can dispute your claims. So no, both spouses do not have to agree in order for a divorce to be awarded.
What is Legal Separation and is it Recognized in South Carolina?
Legal separation is not recognized in the state of South Carolina. In the state, there is no in between. You are married or you aren’t. There is a separate action available called “An Action for Separate Support and Maintenance,” which is much like legal separation in other states.
What is Classified as Separation in Greenville?
When a couple is separated, they cannot live together. Each spouse must live in a different, separate location. If they live in the same house but separate bedrooms, it is not considered separation for all legal purposes. If you own a garage or a guesthouse that is separate from the main house but on the same parcel of property, you should discuss the situation with a knowledgeable Greenville family law attorney who can tell you if the court would agree that is considered as living separately. Robert Clark at Greenville Family Law is knowledgeable about South Carolina divorce and family law and can help you through your divorce.
What are the South Carolina Residency Requirements to Get a Divorce in the State?
If you are seeking a divorce in the state of South Carolina, you must reside in the state for no less than a year if your spouse lives outside the state. If the spouses make their home in the state for three months at least, either spouse can file for a divorce in the state. If one spouse has resided in South Carolina for a year or longer, he or she can file for divorce in the state even if the other spouse has never been there.
Alimony, child custody, visitation, child support, and the division of property involves the court obtaining what is called personal jurisdiction over the nonresident spouse. Jurisdiction questions are complicated and detailed, so to avoid having a case dismissed because of the failure to meet the requirements of the jurisdiction in an adequate manner seek the help of a Greenville divorce lawyer at Greenville Family Law Center. Robert Clark is experienced in handling divorces and addressing such matters in South Carolina Family Court.
Where are Divorce Petitions Filed in Greenville, SC?
Family Court handles divorce and custody matters in South Carolina. Each of South Carolina’s 46 counties has a Family Court. Divorce cases are heard in the defendant’s county of residence at the time the divorce is filed or in the county where the couple last lived together as a married couple. If South Carolina isn’t the defendant’s state of residence, the case will be tried in the plaintiff’s county of residence. Therefore, you will file for divorce in Family Court.
How Does Fault Play a Role in Grounds for a Greenville Divorce?
When the Family Court is considering separate support, alimony, maintenance, and the distribution of property, the court can consider fault by either party. If one party would have been eligible for alimony but committed adultery, South Carolina will bar that individual from receiving alimony from the other party except under certain circumstances. Fault can result in serious ramifications in the divorce process. You should consult with an experienced Greenville family law attorney to help you with these matters. Attorney Robert Clark is knowledgeable about the role fault plays in Greenville, SC divorces and can offer the guidance that is needed during such a stressful time.
How Long Does it Take to Finalize a South Carolina Divorce?
Divorce cases vary from one to another, but there are a few general rules that must be considered regarding divorce in Greenville, South Carolina. Unless the plaintiff asks for divorce based on the one year of continuous separation, the request for a divorce on grounds of fault cannot take place at a hearing until at least two months after the Summons and Complaint have been filed. The divorce itself cannot be granted in South Carolina until at least three months after the divorce case has been filed.
If you use the no-fault divorce approach which based on the grounds of a one-year separation, the plaintiff can file for divorce one year and one day after the year of continuous separation has passed. Then a hearing and divorce might be possible either 30 days after the defendant has been served with the divorce papers or if the defendant files a response before the 30 days have expired, an immediate hearing could be requested. Regardless of whether the divorce is filed or no-fault or fault grounds, a Family Court judge must sign the decree and the decree has to be properly filed with the Family Court Clerk.
How is Marital Property Divided in a South Carolina Divorce?
Family Court in South Carolina has the jurisdiction to divide marital property in a fair and equitable manner. No preset rules determine how assets are divided. Instead, there are several things considered by the court regarding South Carolina statutes. Some factors might include:
- The length of the marriage
- Any award of alimony or separate maintenance
- Child custody arrangements
- Physical and emotional health of each spouse
- Financial and economic situation for each spouse
- Vested retirement benefits of each spouse
- Liens or debts for marital and individual property and debts
- Non-marital property of each spouse
- Need for additional education or training in order to reach same income potential as spouse
- The tax implications of the divorce
- Support being paid to or received by either spouse for a prior child or marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Fault or marital misconduct
- Desirability of retaining the marital home
- And other factors as necessary
To learn more about South Carolina divorce laws or to start divorce proceeding, call Greenville Family Law at (864) 729-3900 and schedule a consultation with Robert Clark, an experienced Greenville family law attorney.