Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

South Carolina No Fault Divorce

According to South Carolina no fault divorce laws, one can obtain divorce on the grounds of “no-fault”, in which the spouse filing the case needs to just state that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” due to “incompatibility” and along with a separation period of one year by living apart from each other, without cohabitation.

The other grounds on which divorce can be obtained are the “fault grounds” such as: abandonment, adultery, alcoholism, physical abuse etc.

Filing for South Carolina no fault divorce

One can file for no-fault divorce from the county that one resides in the state of South Carolina. Divorce laws in South Carolina specify that at least one spouse must be from that state. The waiting period after filing for divorce is 90 days. If the divorce is no-fault and an uncontested one, then the entire procedure of divorce takes lesser time.

Residential requirements in South Carolina no fault divorce

SC no-fault divorce laws specify that if both the spouses are not the residents of the state of South Carolina, then at least one spouse must be the resident of the state for a year prior to filing of the divorce. If they both happen to be the residents of the state then, the residential requirement is three months prior to filing of the case.

Property division in South Carolina no fault divorce

In most of the no-fault divorce cases, souses prefer settling the matter of property division among themselves “outside the court”. This is to avoid the messy legal battles which are not only time consuming but also involve a lot of money expenditure. In cases where the spouses are unable to reach a consensus, then the courts would intervene. South Carolina is an “equitable property division” state where the property is divided equitably and fairly among the spouses. The “marital property” which the spouses had acquired during the course of marriage is justly divided among the spouses. The factors that judges consider while dividing the property are: age and health of the spouses, employability and financial needs of the spouses, lifestyle led by the spouses during the course of marriage etc are considered. The property which individual partners had acquired before the marriage or gets “gift” or acquired after having filed the petition or “complaint” for divorce are called “separate property”. This property is not divided unless the financial needs of a spouse demand invasion in the property of the other spouse.

Spousal support in SC no-fault divorce

According to South Carolina no-fault divorce laws, spousal support or alimony is awarded to the financially weaker spouse in the form of lump sum or is to be extended as installments. The alimony amount may be permanent or temporary depending on the employability of the spouse, age, health, responsibly of children in the lives of the spouse.

Child custody in SC no-fault divorce

The matter of child custody is generally settled by the spouses “outside the court”. They may participate in court-recommended custody mediation so that they can easily draft a sound parenting plan and visitation schedule. This is to avoid the child getting involved in the court battles. But, if a parent feels that the presence of the other parent is detrimental to the child, then he/she may ask the court to decide the mater of custody. Or in other cases of reconciliation between the spouses regarding custody, the courts may intervene. Here, the courts would keep “the best interests of the child in mind” and ensure that SC child custody guidelines are followed while awarding custody.

The decision to opt the grounds to choose, whether it should be the “no fault grounds” or “fault” grounds depends on the spouse filing for divorce. One should consult with the attorney while filing for “fault” grounds because going for divorce trial in court may take lot of time and also money. Divorce trial is preferable if a spouse is sure that he/she has an edge over the other spouse regarding custody or alimony or property division. Divorce mediation can be used to settle the disputing issues. One can choose do-it-yourself divorce as well, if the divorce is no-fault and “uncontested.

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