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Filing for Divorce in South Carolina


Each state has enacted its own divorce laws, so the divorce laws vary from state-to-state. If you live in Columbia, South Carolina, or anywhere else in the state and you are considering filing for divorce, you will want to start learning about South Carolina's divorce laws and how they affect child custody and support, alimony or spousal support, and property and debt division.

In order to shed light on South Carolina's divorce laws, we're going to provide a brief explanation of how filing for divorce works in our state. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact our Columbia divorce firm to schedule a case evaluation.

Grounds for Divorce in Columbia, SC

For starters, in order to obtain a divorce in South Carolina, you need to cite one of the following grounds as the reason for your divorce:

  • Infidelity (your spouse cheated)
  • Desertion (your spouse left you at least one year ago)
  • Domestic violence (e.g. spousal abuse)
  • Your spouse is an alcoholic or has a drug problem

What if your spouse did not have an affair, and they do not have a substance abuse problem? Does that mean that you cannot obtain a divorce, that you'll have to stay in an unsatisfying marriage indefinitely?

You can still obtain a divorce if you and your spouse merely can't get along, or you have a classic case of "irreconcilable differences," however, you'll have to live apart for one full year before either of you can ask the court for a divorce.

Residency Requirement to Obtain a Divorce

If you wish to file a divorce action, you (the plaintiff) must have lived in South Carolina for at least one year before you can commence the divorce action.

If your spouse lives in South Carolina, but you do not and you wish to file for divorce, you may be subject to shorter residency requirements. Feel free to contact our firm to learn more about the residency requirements for plaintiffs who live in another state.

Under South Carolina's divorce laws, divorce actions and actions for separate support and maintenance must be filed in the county where the defendant was living when the divorce action was filed. Or, they must be held in the county where the plaintiff resides if the defendant is a nonresident, or otherwise lives in another state.

For more information on divorce, visit our FAQs page.

We are only scratching the surface when it comes to filing for divorce in Columbia. To learn more, contactMasella Law Firm, P.A. for a  consultation!

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