When you file for divorce, every state requires you to provide grounds for dissolving your marriage. The specific grounds available will depend on state law, and South Carolina allows you to cite no-fault or fault-based grounds. It is important to carefully consider this decision with the help of a divorce lawyer in Hilton Head.
South Carolina does not require you to prove marital misconduct to get divorced. Instead, you can simply state that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. In order to petition for a no-fault divorce in South Carolina, however, you must show that you have lived apart from your spouse continuously for at least one year before filing.
The fault grounds in South Carolina are as follows:
- Alcoholism or drug abuse
- Physical cruelty
- Abandonment by your spouse for one year
There are some benefits to citing fault-based grounds for some spouses. First, you do not have to be separated for one year for a fault divorce (except in abandonment cases). Additionally, proving that your spouse engaged in misconduct can give you an advantage in alimony, property division, or child custody determinations.
It is important to consider that you must provide sufficient evidence of the specific misconduct to the court. If your spouse will not admit to misconduct, this can result in highly personal information being exposed in open court, which can often make the divorce process significantly more adversarial.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Hilton Head, SC for Assistance
There are possible pros and cons to both no-fault and fault-based divorce grounds. This is something you should discuss with an experienced Hilton Head divorce attorney before you file your petition with the court. Call 843.715.0661 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of David Parker Geis, LLC today.