Grounds for Divorce in Indian Land, SC

Trimnal & Myers, LLC is expert in SC family law.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina?

As Fort Mill divorce lawyers, we know how overwhelming the emotional, legal, and financial issues surrounding a divorce can be. That’s why we’re here – to help you navigate the legal system, understand your rights and alternatives, and prepare for each upcoming stage knowing your rights are protected. We know that knowing what to expect can go a long way toward building peace of mind for our clients, so we wanted to share a little information about one of the first considerations in a South Carolina divorce: the reason or grounds for the divorce.

Before you can obtain a divorce in South Carolina, you must have been living separate and apart for a period of one year, unless a spouse is able to establish a fault-based ground for divorce, such as domestic abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, or adultery. However, all issues relating to the marriage, including property division, alimony, custody, and child support, can be permanently decided through litigation or agreement before the divorce is granted.

For many people, making the decision to divorce can be a long and emotionally taxing process. It comes as a shock to many who have gone through this process that South Carolina law requires you to provide a ground or reason for the divorce and prove it. In some situations, clients are required to wait an extended period of time before a divorce is granted or they may not be able to prove the grounds for their divorce.

In South Carolina, the grounds for divorce are:

  • One Year of Continuous Separation. This only applies if you and your spouse have been continuously living separately for a year or more. The Court will require that both parties lived separate and apart in separate residences for one year.
  • Physical Abuse. To pursue a divorce based on physical abuse or physical cruelty, you will need evidence to show that your spouse has physically abused you leading to the breakdown of the marriage. A Lancaster divorce attorney can help you obtain needed documents and protect your legal rights in cases of spousal abuse.
  • Adultery. If you intend to pursue a divorce on the grounds of adultery, you may have a tougher time than you think. Even if your spouse admits to adultery, or if you have some evidence of this adultery, then a further investigation and additional evidence is often required to “prove” the adultery in court. It is often necessary to employ the assistance of private investigators in proving your spouse has committed adultery. We work in conjunction with private investigators to establish the grounds for divorce.
  • Habitual Alcohol or Narcotic Drug Use. South Carolina law does allow divorces in cases of drug and alcohol abuse; however, it can often be difficult to establish this ground. Alcohol and drug abuse issues are often a very private matter in a marriage, and oftentimes very few people outside of the marriage are aware of the problem.

If you have questions about divorce in South Carolina or need help with another family law issue, contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable Lancaster family lawyers today at 1-803-285-6000. We would be happy to meet with you in a completely free legal consultation to hear more about your specific situation and start working on solutions.