The Five grounds for Divorce in South Carolina.
Thinking about a divorce in South Carolina? Confused about where to start? Start with this guide and learn the facts about the five grounds under which a divorce may be filed in South Carolina.
AdulteryTo obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery, you do not need to prove the actual adultery. Instead you may prove adultery through the circumstantial evidence (connecting the dots) of opportunity (to commit adultery) and romantic inclination. Often private investigators are useful in developing proof of adultery.
So what does this mean. It means you have to put your spouse and their significant other together and they must show some type of affection (holding hands, kissing, etc). It is not enough to show a few phones calls or to put them in the same house together, even overnight.
Habitual drunkennessTo obtain a divorce on the grounds of habitual intoxication or narcotics use, you need to show more than your spouse consumes alcohol or uses drugs. Rather, you must prove this consumption is habitual and has caused the breakdown of the marriage. Such proof can often be medical records for substance abuse treatment, criminal records showing convictions related to substance abuse, employment records showing adverse job consequences from substance abuse or credit and debit card records showing substantial and frequent purchases of alcohol.
These cases can be very easy to prove or very hard to prove. The hardest are the alcohol cases because anyone over 21 years of age can legally drink. So the question becomes, when has consumption crossed the line. The easiest are the hard drug case, the heroin cases. In those substance abuser cannot just stop, they will use until they die or get help.
Physical CrueltyTo obtain a divorce on physical cruelty grounds, you do not have to prove an actual physical injury. Instead, you must prove that the other spouse's conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm. For example, firing a loaded gun at a spouse (and missing) would give rise to a physical cruelty divorce.
If you are in an abusive relationship get out. There are programs and remedies at your disposal to protect you and your children.
DesertionSince the length of separation for a no-fault divorce was reduced to a one year period, which is the same as a desertion divorce, the use of desertion as grounds for divorce has almost ceased.
One Year Separation or No FaultTo obtain a divorce on the grounds of a one year separation, you do not have to file anything to start the year running, just move out. As soon as you have lived apart for 365 days you can file for divorce. The court may schedule a hearing on the no-fault divorce immediately upon filing, although the divorce cannot be granted until the other spouse is served with the action and has either filed an answer or has had the time to file an answer elapse.
This is the most common grounds for divorce, by far, in South Carolina. Most cases will end up here for one reason or another. The key with this ground is living apart, under different roofs.