In South Carolina, you can file for divorce from your spouse based on the fact that you have irreconcilable differences. This means that there are issues or disagreements between the two of you that are unable to be resolved, leaving divorce as your only option. This allows you to end your marriage on fairly amicable terms, without pointing to either party as being to blame. This may be the best course of action in some cases. In others, there may have been specific actions on the part of your spouse which could be considered fault grounds and may impact your overall divorce case.
Fault Grounds In SC Divorce Proceedings
Under Section 20-3-10 of the South Carolina Code, there are four specific grounds for divorce, other than irreconcilable differences:
Adultery: When a spouse commits adultery, it can shatter the trust in your relationship. Some couples agree to stay together despite one or the other having an affair. However, forgiving this breach and putting the episode behind you can be a challenge.
Desertion for a period of one year: There are situations where one spouse tells the other that they are going to work, out to run errands, or to perform some other activity and never came back. Being left in this manner can be devastating, both emotionally and financially.
Physical cruelty: According to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), they receive as many as 18,000 calls to their hotline each year reporting incidents involving abuse. In addition to filing for a divorce, you need an experienced family law attorney who can file the legal documents needed to protect yourself.
Habitual drunkenness: When a spouse abuses alcohol or narcotics, it can be painful to watch. Unfortunately, it can also impact your health, your finances, and your overall safety. If they refuse to get help, a divorce may be the only option.
The Effect of Fault Grounds on Your Divorce
In addition to providing you with grounds to end your marriage, any of the above fault grounds can also impact other issues that are dealt with in divorce proceedings. These include:
Division of marital property: Marital property is split on an equitable basis between you and your spouse in South Carolina, based on the circumstances involved. If your spouse abandoned or abused you or if they squandered money and property on an affair or drug habit, you may be entitled to a greater share of assets in your divorce settlement.
Spousal support: Bad behavior during the marriage could be seen as additional grounds under which spousal support may be warranted.
Child time sharing plans: When creating a parenting plan through the South Carolina Courts, fault grounds in divorce could end up negatively impacting your spouse’s rights regarding your children.
Contact Us Today for Help
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we provide the aggressive legal representation needed when filing for divorce, especially when fault grounds are an issue. Contact our Aiken divorce attorney today and request a confidential consultation to discuss how we can assist you.