How to select the right grounds for divorce in South Carolina

blur-960x640For South Carolina residents in the Rock Hill and Fort Mill area that are facing the possibility of a divorce, there can be a lot of questions and uncertainties to face. Among the many aspects regarding a divorce, selecting the right grounds to file on can be imperative to the proceedings. There are five basic grounds for divorce in South Carolina: habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse, physical cruelty, adultery, desertion for at least one year and separation for at least one year. The first four are considered at fault divorces while the last is a no fault divorce. When choosing what to file your divorce under there are certain things to consider about each.

Habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse.

There has to be verifiable proof of the abuse or alcoholism. This is done by means of affidavits from people who can bear witness to the drunkenness, police and medical reports confirming both behaviors, and admission by the accused party. Often times, as with any at fault divorce, the process can be longer and require without doubt, the assistance of a good lawyer. As proving the habitual issue is not enough, the defendant must also show how it has affected the marriage to point it cannot be reconciled.

Physical cruelty.

To successfully prove this ground for divorce the defendant does not have to present proof of physical injury. Instead, they merely have to prove that the spouse in question behaved in such a way that there was serious risk of severe injury or death to the defendant. An example of this type of behavior would be a verifiable account of the spouse firing a gun with live ammunition at the defendant, either missing or hitting them.


Despite what many people assume about this particular grounds, in South Carolina, you do not have to prove that adultery actually took place. Here is where you need a good divorce lawyer to help you establish sufficient circumstantial evidence that the spouse in question had the opportunity and intent to do so. Using private investigators or trained staff, lawyers can help clients build a strong case for divorce base on this ground.

Desertion for at least one year.

One of the easiest grounds for divorce, a spouse that deserts the other one for at least a period of one year can provide a means for a non contested divorce. The defendant that was abandoned can work with a divorce lawyer to have the missing spouse served through notification. You may have noticed in the legal section of the paper there are ads regarding divorce. Once all reasonable attempts to locate and serve them have been made, a notice is published in a national paper and ran for three months. After that time, if there is no response, the divorce will then proceed without contest and whatever the abandoned spouse set forth in the terms of the divorce are granted.

Separation for least one year.

Similar to desertion, parties that separate for at least one year can file for divorce under a no fault ruling. This is often the case of parties that part ways on civil terms and can be especially stress free if they agree to all the terms. In these simple cases, divorce lawyers play more advisory and clerical roles, ensuring that both parties proceed fairly in regards to terms and that the papers are filed appropriately.

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