Divorce in South Carolina

South Carolina is nicknamed the Palmetto State, and here divorce is referred to as Divorce from the Bonds of Matrimony.

To file for divorce in South Carolina, you or your spouse must have lived in South Carolina for at least one year before filing, or both of you must have lived in South Carolina for at least three months before filing.1 This also applies to active military service members.

South Carolina is both a fault and no-fault divorce state. You can file a no-fault divorce in South Carolina (without claiming that either spouse is at fault) if the both of you have lived separate and apart without cohabiting for at least one year. Fault-based grounds for divorce in SC include adultery, desertion for at least a year, habitual drunkenness; or physical abuse that places your life at risk.2

South Carolina is an equitable distribution property state, and only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division. South Carolina divorce laws attempt to divide marital property in a manner that is believed to be fair and equitable. The judge will consider factors such as monetary contributions, contributions to a partner’s education and economic misconduct during the property division case.3

1S.C. Code § 20-3-30

2S.C. Code § 20-3-10

3S.C. Code § 20-3-620