What are the grounds for divorce in South Carolina?
A divorce may be granted in South Carolina divorce law for any of the following grounds:
(2) Desertion for a period of one year;
(3) Physical cruelty;
(4) Habitual drunkenness; provided, that this ground shall be construed to include habitual drunkenness caused by the use of any narcotic drug;
(5) On the application of either party if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year. A plea of res judicata or of recrimination with respect to any other provision of this section shall not be a bar to either party obtaining a divorce on this ground.
In order to file for a divorce, you must first meet the state’s residency requirements. If both spouses are residents, the spouse filing for the divorce (the plaintiff) must have lived in South Carolina for at least three months prior to filing. If only one spouse lives is a resident, the plaintiff must have lived in South Carolina for at least one year before filing. If you live in another state, you can still file for divorce in South Carolina if your spouse has lived in South Carolina for at least one year.
In South Carolina divorce law, the court declares the marriage contract broken; in an annulment, the court says that there never was a marriage. Annulment is much more difficult to prove — and is much rarer — than divorce. If you want to go this route, you will definitely need to speak to a divorce attorney. Of course, if you want an annulment for religious reasons, you’ll need to consult with your priest, minister, or rabbi as well.
You’ll need to provide your divorce lawyer with the following documentation in order to proceed with your dissolution. Start gathering everything together as soon as possible so that you can find out what might be missing and submit any requests for duplicates.
- Full addresses and phone numbers of both parties.
- Full names, birth dates, and addresses of all children of the marriage, their school and grade.
- Information about any prior marriage of either spouse, including a certified copy of the divorce decree.
- A copy of any domestic contracts (e.g. a prenuptial agreement).
- Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children.
- Dates and particulars about any previous separations, attempts at reconciliation, or marriage counseling.
- Your previous year’s income tax return, and any related data from the IRS.
- Information about your current income, e.g. a current pay slip.
- A list of substantial assets and liabilities of both spouses.