Can I Oppose A Divorce in South Carolina?

grounds for divorce in sc

Divorce is always an extremely difficult and emotional process, but when one partner files for a divorce the other doesn’t want, it becomes even harder. 

If your spouse has filed for divorce, and you disagree with the action, you may be considering attempting to oppose the proceedings. In doing so, however, you may be inadvertently prolonging an already stressful process, or creating more unintended consequences.

Before you decide to attempt to oppose a divorce, find out what your legal rights are, and consult a family law attorney in South Carolina for advice.

What South Carolina Law Says

For many wishing to oppose a divorce, simply refusing to reply to the Summons and neglecting to file an answer within the thirty day period this state allows. Simply not answering, however, could result in a default divorce for your spouse. The problem with this is you would not have any input in the process, and the information the judge receives would be solely through your spouse.

There are five grounds for divorce in SC:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Physical cruelty
  • Abandonment
  • No fault

“No fault” divorces allow your spouse to file for divorce without having to show wrongdoing by the other party. They simply need to cite irreconcilable differences, without any proof necessary. 

Knowing this, divorce can be hard, if not impossible, to protest. However, there are some options your spouse might be willing to agree to. 

What Are Your Options?

If you do not want to go through with a divorce, talk to your partner and discuss if there is any way to reconcile your differences. 

Suggesting a separation first, if you are not already separated, might be a way to add some time to resolve issues. In South Carolina, for instance, state law requires spouses be separated (living separately) for at least one year.

If you choose to contest the divorce and claim there is no reason to obtain one, the court will still likely proceed with it. You may request a delay in these proceedings to give your spouse and yourself time to discuss any differences. Many times, this period is accompanied by counseling. The counseling service then gives a report back to the court to see if any reconciling has occurred.

No matter the situation, if your spouse has informed you they will be petitioning for divorce, your next step should be seeking out a family law attorney to advise you on your options.  Having a helping hand of a lawyer who understands what you are facing can guide you through this stressful and emotional time.