If your marriage has been affected by cheating, you may be wondering if adultery can affect alimony in a South Carolina divorce, and reasonably so. Each state handles divorce issues differently. In some states, adultery will affect an adulterous spouse's ability to receive alimony and can have a bearing on property division.
Can cheating affect divorce in South Carolina?
South Carolina law defines "adultery" as sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who isn't their spouse. South Carolina is one of the states that considers adultery as a legal ground for a "fault-based" divorce.
Unlike states such as California and Nevada, South Carolina courts will consider evidence of cheating in a divorce proceeding. Adultery evidence can be used unless both of the spouses cheated at some point, or the faithful spouse condoned the other spouse's encounter or affair.
While adultery can impact alimony in South Carolina, it typically does not affect child custody or property division.
How Adultery Impacts Alimony
If a spouse commits adultery in South Carolina, he or she is not eligible to receive alimony. The only exception to the rule is when the faithful spouse knew about the affair and allowed it to occur.
Compared to most states, South Carolina is rather strict about preventing unfaithful spouses from receiving alimony that they would otherwise be entitled to. Even if a spouse needs the financial support, they can be barred from receiving alimony if there is clear and convincing evidence of infidelity.
Unlike many other states, in South Carolina, spouses who enter into sexual relationships with other people while they're separated are frowned upon. This means that even if a married couple is living separately, they cannot have sexual relations with other people before their divorce is finalized.
If it can be proven that a separated spouse had sexual relations before the divorce, he or she can be barred from receiving any alimony.
The courts don't require direct proof of a spouse's infidelity; it can be proven with circumstantial evidence.
If you have further questions about adultery and divorce, contact a Columbia divorce attorney at Masella Law Firm, P.A. Protect yourself with nearly 30 years of legal experience!
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