Does South Carolina Have a No-Fault Divorce?

Couple face each other during divorce arangement.

Many states have opted for no-fault divorces. In the states with a true no-fault divorce, either party can petition the court to dissolve the marriage. There does not have to be a reason other than one spouse does not wish to remain married.

Other states require parties to have grounds for divorce. Grounds are based on the fault of one party for the breakup of the marriage. South Carolina continues to use grounds for divorce actions. The grounds for divorce in South Carolina could differ slightly from other states’ grounds for divorce actions.

What Are The Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina?

South Carolina recognizes five grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Physical cruelty (mental and emotional cruelty are not grounds for divorce)
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Desertion or abandonment
  • One year’s continuous separation

The closest ground for a no-fault divorce in South Carolina is one year’s continuous separation.

Filing for a South Carolina No-Fault Divorce?

There is no requirement for spouses to file anything with the court to begin a one-year separation. They can merely separate, but they must remain separate and apart for a continuous year. If they cohabitate during the one year separation, the clock begins again if the parties choose to separate for a second time.

Some individuals file for an order of separation to settle issues of support, custody, and property division issues. After one year, either spouse may petition the court for a divorce on the grounds of one year’s continuous separation. The spouse and a witness must appear in court to testify that the parties have remained separated for the entire year.

If the parties had an order of separation, the judge might incorporate the terms of the previous order into the court’s final order.

What Happens if a Spouse Objects to a No-Fault Divorce?

A spouse has the option of filing a response with the court to allege that the couple has not been separated for one year or that the spouse has other grounds for divorce. The other spouse may allege adultery or other grounds for divorce.

Alleging grounds for divorce can be a strategic move. In South Carolina, the grounds for divorce could impact spousal support, custody, and property division. Therefore, it is always wise to consult a South Carolina divorce lawyer if you are served with divorce papers or are contemplating divorce. An attorney can help you develop a plan and strategy that protects your best interests and the best interests of your children during and after the divorce.

Call Our Myrtle Beach Divorce Lawyers for Help

We understand that the decision to file for divorce is deeply personal. You may be hesitant to talk with a lawyer about your case. We want you to know that your consultation with an attorney at the Morris Law Firm is strictly confidential. We provide compassionate, honest assessments of your situation to help you decide what is best for you.

Call our office now to schedule your free consultation with a Myrtle Beach divorce attorney.


4589 Oleander Drive, Suite B
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 232-0944

11054 SC-707
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
(843) 232-0944

Call us now for a FREE consultation!