No matter which side of a divorce an individual is own, it can be an incredibly difficult process. However, in as any South Carolina Divorce attorney will tell you, no two divorces are exactly the same. There are always different complications that can arise. Unlike some other states that have only one ground for divorce, South Carolina has five grounds of divorce. Four are considered at fault grounds and a no fault ground exists if the parties are separated for one year.
What are the at fault grounds for divorce in South Carolina?
The first type of at fault ground in South Carolina is adultery. In South Carolina, proving actual adultery is not necessary to obtain a divorce. Obviously, there are complications of catching somebody in the act of adultery, as it is usually a private event. However, the mere fact that an individual has the opportunity and disposition or inclination to commit adultery is sufficient proof.
The second at fault ground is habitual drunkenness. This ground includes intoxication by both drugs and alcohol. A spouse that drinks often will likely not be enough to obtain a divorce on grounds of habitual drunkenness. Habitual does not mean continual, but rather a frequent habit of becoming intoxicated. The drug or alcohol use must be habitual and lead to the breakdown of the marriage.
Another at fault ground is physical cruelty. Under South Carolina, physical injury is not the same as physical cruelty. A spouse must prove that the other spouse’s actions created a substantial risk of death or bodily injury. An individual who suffers mental cruelty does not have grounds for divorce in South Carolina.
The final at fault divorce ground is one year desertion. One year desertion is less common than some other divorce grounds because an individual can also file for a divorce on the grounds of one year separation. For desertion, the abandoning spouse must leave the marital home with no intention to return.
What is the timeline to obtain an at fault divorce?
The amount of time needed to obtain a divorce in South Carolina on fault grounds is three months. If you are filing for a divorce on fault grounds, you may request a final hearing or trial 90 days after you file for divorce. This is much shorter than a no fault divorce, which requires you to wait a year. The only at fault ground you must wait longer than 90 days for is the ground of desertion. However, since the clock is the same for desertion and one year separation, most individuals file for divorce on the grounds of one year separation.
How can we help?
Whether you are going through a divorce that is no fault, or your spouse has committed one of the fault grounds, divorce can be very complicated. Divorce means a division of your property and perhaps a new custody arrangement for your children. However, you do not have to face divorce alone. An experienced attorney at Surasky Law Firm can help you with your case. Call us today at (803) 593-3912.