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Alimony in South Carolina

December 1, 2016

Whether members of a family are spendthrifts or splurge at every occasion, a divorce can shake the financial stability of all parties in a marriage. While there are cases that occur when parties can continue to live in the lifestyle they are accustomed to, many instances of divorce require one, if not both people involved in the marriage to adjust their lifestyle based on new financial constraints and reality. In this article, we’ll discuss alimony in South Carolina so you can be better prepared if you are considering a divorce.


What might I owe my spouse after a divorce?


While every case differs, under South Carolina law at least one member of a divorced couple may pay the other some form of support upon divorce. This type of payment has several names, but is most frequently known as alimony. Alimony helps level the metaphorical playing field in terms of any income disparities between two spouses. Depending on the agreement between you and your spouse, or what the court determines, you may have to pay your former spouse all, some, or none of their previous expenses.


What types of alimony exist in South Carolina?


The eligibility for alimony in South Carolina is not automatic. Upon a court’s review, and the analysis of several factors, the court will assess whether or not alimony is appropriate. A critical factor the court will look at is the income difference between each spouse. Other factors include the presence of children, how long the couple was married and what type of living arrangements they had during the time they were married.


Alimony is mainly awarded on a temporary, permanent or rehabilitative basis.


  • Temporary. Temporary alimony is usually awarded while a case is pending. As family law cases can be lengthy in nature, this type of alimony ensures that a spouse is not left without a way to support themselves while court cases are pending

  • Rehabilitative. Rehabilitative alimony is also temporary in nature. However, this type of alimony is generally only awarded while a spouse gets training or education they need to return themselves to a productive member of society. This usually happens when a spouse forgoes education or career opportunities for the marriage.

  • Permanent. Permanent alimony is the most common type of spousal support in South Carolina. Permanent alimony is only awarded when divorce proceedings have been finalized. How permanent alimony is awarded can differ. A spouse may elect to take it in a lump sum payment or receive it through periodic payments.


There are other types of spousal support, but they are less frequently awarded in the South Carolina court system.


Are you going through a divorce? An Aiken, SC Attorney can help!


How to distribute marital assets and plan for financial security after marriage can be a complicated procedure. The attorneys at Surasky Law can help you divide your marital assets and determine the proper amount you are owed or a fair amount you should pay in alimony.


Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.



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