South Carolina Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers SC


In South Carolina the divorce rate is 3.2% per 1,000 of the population which is not quite low but still below the median. Family court law has defined and established both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce in South Carolina. Those, filing on no-fault grounds, must provide the divorce court with a statement stating that the marriage was irretrievably broken, whereas for fault divorce, you must show the proof.

Annulment in South Carolina is rare and is much more difficult to prove, because its requirements are tough and annulment issues are only raised in the court in special circumstances. Court advises not to choose this course but if chosen, a legal lawyer or a church must be concerned.

Getting help and assistance from a professional divorce lawyers can make your divorce legally more easy and quick.

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Divorce Grounds in South Carolina

Divorce grounds in South Carolina are divided into:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in South Carolina

There is only one no-fault divorce ground in South Carolina, which is:

Separation without Cohabitation

Separation is the most common divorce ground in South Carolina. After one year’s separation without cohabitation, both spouses can file for a divorce decree in a divorce court.

Fault Divorce Grounds in South Carolina

Fault divorce grounds in South Carolina are:


Adultery is a fault divorce ground in South Carolina. If your spouse is having sexual relations with a paramour, you can get a divorce from him or her on this divorce ground.

Desertion for One Year

Desertion by your spouse for one year or more is a ground for divorce in South Carolina. On this divorce ground in South Carolina, both you and your spouse can claim divorce.

Habitual Drunkenness

If your spouse is a habitual drunkard or drug addict and you do not want to live with him or her, you can obtain divorce under this divorce ground in South Carolina.

Physical Cruelty

Cruel treatment includes physical and mental torture or harassment. If you are bearing with any or all of these, you can get a divorce under this fault divorce ground in South Carolina.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in South Carolina.

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South Carolina Divorce Laws

South Carolina has following divorce laws:


According to South Carolina divorce laws, you should meet the South Carolina residency requirements before filing for divorce. This is typically applicable to those who are planning to move in the near future. The divorce is filed within the county in which the filing spouse resides.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

The essential documents needed to file a case for a divorce according to South Carolina divorce laws are:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce

Property Distribution

South Carolina is also an “equitable distribution” state. The clients are advised to reach a settlement; otherwise the divorce court divides the assets accordingly. That is the property and debt issues are determined between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the court orders and decrees the distribution.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

The South Carolina divorce court, after final announcement of divorce, may allow the spouses to resume a former surname or the surname of a former spouse.

Mediation Counseling

In referring all cases, the South Carolina divorce court sees whether the parties lie under the jurisdiction of the court or not. Then the court makes the best effort to bring about a settlement between the parties by mediation and counseling.


Under South Carolina divorce laws, the alimony award is influenced by how the marital property is distributed, and thus is an important part of the final decision of any divorce. Both the parties are allowed to reach to an agreement on this issue, otherwise the divorce court orders support.

Child Custody

According to South Carolina divorce laws, while awarding child custody, the court must consider the child’s preference. The preference should be based upon the child’s:

  • Age
  • Experience
  • Maturity
  • Judgment
  • Ability to express a preference

The court should also consider the proof of any familial aggression, the present situation and nature of the divorce, and the religion of both parents.

Child Support

Under South Carolina divorce laws, child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. Both parents can have joint responsibility for child support. The divorce court will require income withholding for the guarantee of child support payments.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information of your state.

South Carolina Annulment Laws

Annulment and divorce are used in the same sense that is for dissolution of a marriage. An annulment is the court’s declaration that the marriage never existed or is void. South Carolina annulment laws say that, both the parties have the right to remarry after getting an annulment. Following are the annulment grounds set by South Carolina annulment laws:

Mental Incapacity

South Carolina annulment laws state that a mentally incapacitated person cannot enter into a marital contract. If your spouse has a mental illness, you can claim annulment under South Carolina annulment laws.


According to South Carolina annulment laws fraud is a legal annulment ground in South Carolina. If your spouse misrepresented him or herself or tricked you into marriage, you can obtain annulment in South Carolina.

Underage Marriage

A marriage of spouses, younger than the set legal marriageable age, can be annulled under South Carolina annulment laws.


To get annulment on this ground constituted by South Carolina annulment laws, you have to show a medical proof of your spouse’s impotency.


Marriage under duress means compelling or threatening someone into a married. This is a valid annulment ground according to South Carolina annulment laws.

Venereal Disease (STD)

If your spouse is infected with a sexually transferable disease, you can obtain annulment in South Carolina.

South Carolina Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the residency restrictions for divorce in South Carolina?

    According to South Carolina divorce laws, there exist two conditions regarding residency: o In case of one spouse, the residency period is at least 1 year. o In case of both the spouses, the residency period is 3 months.

  2. Is South Carolina a no-fault divorce state?

    South Carolina has both fault and no-fault divorce grounds. There is only one no-fault divorce ground which is separation without cohabitation, while fault based grounds is, adultery, habitual drunkenness, cruelty and desertion for 1 year.

  3. How long shall we reside separate to get South Carolina divorce?

    According to South Carolina divorce laws, to get South Carolina divorce, both husband and wife are obliged to live separate and distant from each other without any cohabitation for at least 1 year.

  4. Where should I file a divorce?

    The petition for divorce must be filed in the region where plaintiff and defendant reside or in the county where one of them is living.

  5. How long will it take me to be divorced in South Carolina?

    Under no-fault divorce grounds, it takes about three months or more after filing a petition in South Carolina to get divorced.

  6. What is alimony?

    Alimony or spousal support is the amount paid by a spouse to help the other spouse in meeting the financial needs. The amount of alimony and the period to which it should be paid is decided by the divorce court according to the spouse’s income.

  7. Is South Carolina an equitable distribution state?

    Yes, South Carolina is an equitable distribution state which means that the assets and liabilities are divided in equal proportion among the spouses.

  8. How can I get child custody?

    To get the custody of your child, you should be sincere and have good attitude towards your child. The court considers the child’s interest in declaring the child custody. In South Carolina divorce laws, the court declares either sole or joint custody.

  9. What is meant by sole and joint custody?

    Sole custody is one in which one spouse gets the child custody while the other one only gets the visitation rights. In case of joint custody, both the spouses have the right to make decisions for their child’s future.

  10. What is child support?

    Child support is one in which the non-custodial spouse is responsible to pay a specified amount to the custodial spouse for expanses incurred on child. South Carolina divorce laws have no fixed percentage of child support. It varies according to the gross income of the non-custodial spouse.

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