Skip to Content

South Carolina Sees its First Same Sex Divorces


Same-sex marriage unions have been legal in South Carolina since the end of last year, and that milestone was quickly followed by another – the state's first same sex divorce.

Recently News 2 reported how the state's first legal same-sex divorce took place in December 2014 in Charleston. A local same-sex couple married three years ago in New York, filed for divorce after a separation.

The news channel reported how one of the women involved in the divorce who wanted to remain anonymous for reasons of privacy, told News 2 she and her now ex-wife were living separately for a year before filing for divorce.

News 2 reported on how the county granted the divorce on the basis you have a right to get married in South Carolina and the right to have a same sex marriage recognized from another state as well as a right to have the marriage dissolved.

In Charleston County, marriage licenses cost $70 and divorce filings cost $150, the channel reported.

Same sex marriage licenses have been issued in South Carolina, notwithstanding efforts by some political leaders in Columbia to stop them. South Carolina's marriage license application has been changed to add the words "spouse and spouse," while state taxes can be filed jointly for same-sex couples who get married, and returns can be amended for the years a couple has been legally wed, according to media reports.

State agencies moved to comply with the ruling of U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, who struck down South Carolina's ban on gay marriage last November.

However, the South Carolina General Assembly is not done with the issue. On March 11, the Post and Courier reported on how "states' rights proponents" in the S.C. Senate backed a plan to join a call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to rein in federal spending and outlaw same-sex marriages.

A Senate subcommittee supported three bills including one that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

The same sex marriage issue remains on hold in Alabama but a judge in the state has granted a same sex divorce.

The prospect of more same sex divorces in South Carolina raises a number of legal issues, such as the determination of benefits for same sex couples who were married in another state but have lived in South Carolina for some time.

Our Columbia family law attorneys can help same sex couples who are divorcing with these complex issues in the same way we have helped heterosexual couples for many years. Call us at 803.938.4952.

Share To: