South Carolina Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Divorce Requirements for South Carolina Residents
Divorcing couples in South Carolina must first satisfy the residency requirements of the State when filing a divorce complaint, otherwise the court shall have no jurisdiction to hear the case.
In filing for divorce in South Carolina, either the petitioner or the respondent must be a legal resident of the State for at least one year before the divorce papers are filed. In the event that both parties to the divorce action live in South Carolina, there is a waiting period of one month before the petition can be granted.
South Carolina Grounds For Divorce
South Carolina has both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce.
In a no-fault divorce case, there is no need for either party to point fingers on who caused the marriage to fail irrevocably. The no-fault ground is when the spouses have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one year. That alone, which is a commonly-used ground, is enough to be granted a divorce.
Fault-based grounds include adultery; desertion by one spouse for a period of one year or more; physical abuse or cruelty that endangers the life or well-being of the other spouse; alcoholism or habitual drunkenness; and abuse of narcotic drugs.
Child Custody Law in South Carolina
South Carolina divorce courts may grant parents with either sole or joint custody, depending on the actual underlying circumstances. If one parent is designated as the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent will be given visitation rights.
SC family courts put the child’s best interests first and consider the following factors in ruling over child custody cases:
- Age and gender of the child
- Age and health of both parents
- Employment and work schedules of both parents
- History of domestic violence or child abuse, as proven in court
- Income and earning capacity of each parent
Guidelines for South Carolina Child Support
The computation of child support obligations in South Carolina is based on official guidelines. Child support calculation takes into consideration the gross income of both parties and the expenditures in rearing the child such as education, medical and dental insurance, and child care, among others.
Where to file for a divorce?
Divorce forms in South Carolina can be heard and filed within the county wherein the respondent or defendant is currently residing. However, if the latter cannot be located, the proceeding will be heard in the county of residence of the petitioner or plaintiff.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file South Carolina online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for South Carolina Residents” above and also review the top online divorce papers sites.
Divorcing parties may seek for mediation settlement before or after filing the South Carolina Divorce papers in order to cushion the devastation caused by courtroom drama in a contested divorce. Divorce mediation is the best option for couples wishing to have a peaceful and amicable divorce, with no attorneys and long, painful, and costly procedures of a litigated divorce, which are often financially devastating and emotionally consequential on the family. The process is friendlier and less intrusive than litigation, with more positive consequences for the child.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the South Carolina Courts for more information