How to Get a Divorce in South Carolina
Things turn sour in you marriage, and you can just go to court and get a divorce, right?
Not necessarily, explains Greenville SC attorney John Mussetto. As the owner of the Law Office of John M. Mussetto explains, many states have specific legal standards that prescribe the circumstances in which divorces may be granted. It’s not up to the judge alone to determine whether a marriage is beyond repair. Like it or not, states are in the marriage business – and just as they set standards for what constitutes a legal marriage, so too are there statutory limitations that affect when divorces will be granted.
In most states, including South Carolina, a spouse must provide the court with a specific reason for divorce, says the Greenville SC attorney. South Carolina has only five legal grounds: adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness, drug use, and physical cruelty.
Each is grievous in its own right. From infidelity to violence to substance problems, the South Carolina standards leave little question about whether divorce is indicated. It would be hard to imagine a court telling the wife of a cheating husband to stand by her spouse, and indeed, if any of these five grounds can be compellingly demonstrated to a court, a divorce will be granted. But things get rocky when one or both spouses want a divorce, but cannot prove one of the five grounds to the court. Perhaps the couple just aren’t getting along anymore, or maybe a husband or wife suspects cheating, but does not have enough evidence to support the suspicion before a judge.
The good news, according to the Greenville SC attorney Mussetto, is that the State of South Carolina will not condemn you to a loveless union just because your spouse is not a drinker or otherwise irresponsible partner. Though South Carolina does not have a no-fault option on the books, the state permits couples to divorce after completing a one-year term of separation. This separation, called “separate support and maintenance” is the precursor to a “no-fault” type divorce. Once the year is completed, the divorce will be issued.
While the “separate support” option is good news for spouses who no longer want to be married, but don’t have substance, infidelity, or abuse issues, the route may also be appropriate in cases where a spouse is drinking or cheating explains the attorney Mussetto, of Greenville SC. Since there’s no need to prove wrongdoing, the burden on a spouse who wants divorce is lower, and a separation can get the ball rolling faster than any other option.
Greenville, SC 29601
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.