A South Carolina divorce case is often the first time that a person will ever come to a South Carolina family law attorney. This occasion may be marked by confusion, anger, frustration and many questions. It is important to find out facts as well at the earliest possible stage. We want you to know what your rights are and what alternatives you may have.

Thank you for visiting our website for help concerning South Carolina divorce and legal separation. It is our aim to give you important facts and information which may help you. However,his website is for your GENERAL information and education only and is not to be construed as legal advice between attorney and client. You should ALWAYS consult with a South Carolina divorce attorney personally for specific advice and questions about your case. There are a number of articles on the specific issues that you may face in your divorce or separation such as division of pensions, enforcing a court order, mediation, relocation with your children out of the state of South Carolina, criminal domestic violence, etc. See the links on the left or scroll down the page for links to these specific South Carolina Divorce articles.



About 20% of people that contact a divorce lawyer about a divorce are not "ready" to actually get a divorce,according to a statistic cited by Dr. Phil on his show Are You Ready For Divorce? Dr. Phil believes that most people are too quick to get divorced. The best South Carolina divorce attorneys routinely advise their clients to explore every option for keeping their marriage together before filing for a South Carolina divorce. Dr. Phil says, before you get a divorce, you should make sure your emotional business is finished, you are prepared legally, and you are ready to move to a co-parenting relationship with your soon to be ex spouse. Dr. Phil has a Divorce Advice Readiness Test:

1.Have you done everything you can to save your marriage?
2.Do you have unfinished emotional business?
3.Have you researched, planned, and prepared yourself legally for divorce?
4.Are you ready to adopt a new standard of conduct with your children?
5.Are you will to create a new relationship as a co-parent?

To make sure you are ready for divorce, Dr. Phil suggests reading books about repairing your marriage, going to a marriage counselor, speaking with a clergy person and spending time focusing on what each person's role is in the marital break-up. You should evaluate: How did the marriage go wrong? Is what the fight about worth ruining the marriage? Are you willing to put in the effort to make the relationship work? What is your role in causing the break-up of the marriage?

However, once you have exhausted all of possibilities of repairing your marriage, it is time to consider proceeding with a South Carolina legal separation or divorce.


In order to file for a divorce in South Carolina, residency requirements must be met for the family court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdiction to hear the divorce it will not be accepted or it will be dismissed. In order to file an action for a divorce, the plaintiff must have lived in South Carolina at least one year prior to filing for a divorce or, if the plaintiff lives in another state, the defendant must have lived in South Carolina for one year. However, if both parties are residents of South Carolina when the divorce is filed, the plaintiff must have lived in the State only three months prior to filing. Actions for divorce or for separate support and maintenance must be tried in the county in which the defendant resides at the time of the filing or in which the plaintiff resides if the defendant lives in another state or cannot be found, or in which the parties last resided together as husband and wife unless the plaintiff is a nonresident, in which case it must be brought in the county in which the defendant resides.

South Carolina Divorce Law -Title 20, Chapter 3; Sections 20-3-30, 20-3-60, 20-3-80


No-Fault Divorce: (1) on the application of either party if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year.

This means that you must actually physically separate and live in separate houses for one year. You cannot remain in the same house and obtain a South Carolina no fault divorce.

Fault: (1) adultery; (2) desertion for a period of one year; (3) physical cruelty; (4) habitual drunkenness; provided, that this ground shall be construed to include habitual drunkenness caused by the use of any narcotic drug.

For adultery you will need to prove inclination and opportunity. Even if one party admits to adultery, that normally is not sufficient grounds for a divorce. Evidence of adultery usually is gathered by retaining a private investigator.

Desertion or more commonly called abandonment must be the complete cutting off of contact and support.

Physical cruelty normally requires some proof of the abuse such as doctor's reports. A single incident will probably not be sufficient cause, you will need to show a repetitive pattern. Mental or verbal abuse is not a grounds for divorce in South Carolina.

Habitual drunkenness is not going out on every Saturday night and getting loaded. It means that it is an everyday thing that prevents the person from performing the normal activities of everyday life. "In order to prove habitual drunkenness, there must be a showing that the abuse of alcohol caused the breakdown of the marriage and that such abuse existed at or near the time of filing for divorce. Epperly v. Epperly, 312 S.C. 411, 414, 440 S.E.2d 884, 885 (1994).

For all of the grounds for a South Carolina divorce the court will require sufficient evidence and usually the actual testimony of a third party witness. Just an admission by a party normally is not sufficient proof.

This site covers a number of divorce advice and South Carolina divorce law issues. Please scroll down to review the various divorce topics or use the links on the left. If you need to contact a South Carolina divorce attorney or family law attorney, please click on the link below and fill out the contact form.


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