When filing for divorce in South Carolina, you must file on some type of grounds. You may file on no-fault grounds or you may choose an at-fault ground depending on the circumstances of your separation.
In South Carolina divorce law, abandonment is termed “desertion”. Here’s what you need to know about divorce and abandonment when filing for divorce in the state of South Carolina.
What Constitutes Abandonment
Desertion is defined as living apart for at least one year without consent of the deserted spouse and without appropriate justification. In addition, the deserting spouse must not intend to resume living with the deserted spouse.
In order to file for divorce in South Carolina on at-fault grounds of desertion, the deserted spouse must be able to prove that he or she was deserted for a period of least one year.
If one spouse leaves the other, this does not necessarily qualify as desertion, so don’t be afraid to get out of a situation that you feel you need to leave before filing for divorce. Only if you’ve left for a period of one year without consent does the term desertion qualify.
Alternative Ways to File
If you’d prefer not to file on at-fault grounds or cannot prove that your spouse deserted you, you can also file for divorce on no-fault grounds. In order to file on no-fault grounds, you and your spouse must have lived apart for at least one year.
For both at-fault grounds of desertion and no-fault grounds, the same length of time is required for each option. However, there may be benefits to filing for one opposed to the other. For instance, if your spouse is found to be responsible for the ending of the marriage, it may affect the division of your assets, alimony, and custody in your favor.
Working with an Experienced Attorney
In order to better determine which grounds would be the most appropriate for your case, working with a divorce attorney can help. Divorce can feel like a complicated and stressful process, but with a legal ally by your side, you’ll be better able to navigate the terms of your separation.
A trusted and experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not you should file on at-fault grounds of desertion or no-fault grounds based on your case. Working with the right attorney can help you achieve the best outcome for your divorce in South Carolina!