Divorce law is not the same throughout the United States. While a divorce may have the same definition throughout each state, the terms, specifics and even filing procedures are different for each state. South Carolina is no different and has its own unique set of laws that apply to divorce law, separation and custody. Here are just some of the basics to South Carolina divorce law:
Conditions to Filing a Divorce
There are two different types of a divorce that may affect the outcome and conditions to the final court ordered paperwork. A divorce can be considered either a “no-fault” divorce, meaning that no party in particular is to blame for the deterioration of the marriage, or it can be a “at-fault” divorce. An “at-fault” divorce means that one spouse has filed a divorce that blames the other spouse for the marriage deterioration.
There are four types of an “at-fault” divorce including adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness (alcohol or drugs), and desertion. If a spouse is determined to be adulterous, they are not eligible for alimony. However, alimony is still an option for other “at-fault” reasons.
With a no-fault divorce, the parties can be divorced after living separately and completely apart for one year. However, an “at-fault” divorce may require more evidence prior to the divorce being awarded.
If both parties cannot determine how the property should be separated, then the South Carolina courts can apply the law of “equitable distribution”. Equitable distribution is a solution to divide the property as equitably as possible considering the specific facts of the case. Although this may not be considered “fair” in most cases, it will allow property to be divided.
Personal property concerns vehicles, items stored within the marital home and other personal items. Real property concerns the marital home and land. Debts are also considered property and include mortgages, credit card bills and any other type of loan.
Equitable distribution does not and will not include any items considered gifts or inherited items. If something was yours prior to the marriage ending, it may also remain yours after.
Child Custody Law in South Carolina
In South Carolina, child custody is determined by creating a custody schedule that is in the best interest of the child. No parent has the right to custody immediately. A judge can order sole or joint custody to either parent. Children sometimes have a say in determining which parent they would like to live with, however it is not a major factor in determining custody itself.
Do you have questions about divorce law in South Carolina? Harden Law can help. Contact us today to learn more.