There can be many reasons why a married couple would consider divorce, whether it be due to the actions or inactions of one of the spouses or whether both spouses agree to terminate the marriage. To file for divorce in South Carolina, the filing partner, or Plaintiff, must be a resident of the state for at least one year (However, when both spouses reside in the state, the Plaintiff must be a resident for three months).
The divorce decree may be filed:
-In the County where the Defendant resides
-In the County where the Plaintiff resides when the Defendant does not live in South Carolina and cannot be located
-In the County where the Couple last lived together if both still live in South Carolina.
There are several grounds for filing a divorce.
No-Fault - A divorce through No-Fault grounds requires the spouses live separate and apart for one year. This does not mean separate bedrooms in the same house. This must be separate houses for one continuous year.
At-Fault - A divorce through At-Fault grounds must fall under at least one of the four causes for divorce. They are the following:
-Alcoholism and/or drug addiction
-Willful desertion for one continuous year.
There are many factors that come into play for a divorce on general grounds. For example, if the Plaintiff files on the grounds of adultery, the Plaintiff must not have condoned the behavior. Otherwise, the Defendant has a defense to the adultery claims.
Once a divorce is filed, it takes at least 90 days to be completed and finalized through Family Court.
It is always a good idea to have a pre-nuptial agreement that outlines exactly what happens in the case of divorce. If there is not one, or you believe the pre-nuptial agreement can be challenged, or if you'd like your pre-nuptial agreement reviewed prior to signing it, contact me today for a free initial consultation of your situation.