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Does South Carolina recognize a no-fault divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Divorce |

A spouse can usually file for a no-fault by declaring the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage or stating they have irreconcilable differences with their spouse. All states have adopted a form of no-fault divorce, interchanging incompatibility with irreconcilable differences and irretrievable with an irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

South Carolina has a more quantifiable approach to a no-fault divorce than most states. While it does recognize a no-fault divorce, it has more specific requirements.

The requirements of a no-fault divorce in South Carolina

You must meet one of the two residency requirements in South Carolina before you can file any kind of divorce. They are as follows:

  • When both spouses are South Carolina residents, the filing spouse only needs to have resided in the state for three months.
  • If only one spouse is a resident, then either spouse should have lived in South Carolina for at least a year before they can file for divorce.

The residency requirements apply to all five grounds of divorce in South Carolina. However, if you want a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse should have lived separately and apart for a minimum period of one year. Living in the same house but in different rooms does not count. The separation requirement of 12 months begins when the couple lives in separate homes.

Is a no-fault divorce worth the 12-month wait?

A no-fault divorce is worth the yearlong wait because you would relieve yourself from the burden of proving fault. But remember, a divorce can only be final if you reach a settlement agreement that addresses all issues relating to your divorce. A no-fault divorce can increase the chances of achieving an uncontested divorce away from the courtroom.