In South Carolina, in order to get a no-fault divorce, the parties must have been separated for a year or more. If you reconcile, then separate again, the time starts over. The fault based grounds for divorce include physical cruelty, habitual drug use, adultery and desertion. In order to prove adultery, the evidence must show that your spouse had the inclination and opportunity to have an affair. Most divorce lawyers in Myrtle Beach also like to have evidence of affection, for example, a picture of the spouse embracing a paramour. Circumstantial evidence can be used to prove adultery, but it must be clear and convincing. If one spouse is successful on a claim of adultery, the other spouse is barred from receiving alimony.
Habitual drug and alcohol abuse is difficult to prove, you have to be able to show that the other spouses drug or alcohol abuse was the cause of the break down of the marriage. Physical cruelty can be proven in a variety of ways, however, proof of physical violence does not always establish physical cruelty as a ground for divorce.
The parties assets are usually divided 50/50 using a process known as equitable distribution. Any property that you owned before the marriage is considered to be separate property and not subject to equitable distribution unless it transmuted into marital property. For example, you buy a house, and a few years later you get married. You decide to add your spouse to the title of the home and live in the home for the duration of the marriage. The court may find that this home transmuted into marital property even though it was originally separate property.
The court considers many factors when deciding to award alimony in South Carolina, including the age of the parties, their standard of living, assets, wealth, and the length of the marriage. The court also considers the actual need of the party seeking alimony and the other spouse’s ability to pay the alimony. However, if the party requesting alimony has committed adultery, that person will be barred from receiving any alimony.