SOUTH CAROLINA DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: If both spouses are residents, the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident for three months. If one of the spouses is not a resident, the other spouse must have been a resident for one year.
No Fault: Living separate and apart for at least one year without cohabitation.
Fault: Adultery; Desertion for at least one year; Physical cruelty; Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse.
Property Division: South Carolina is an equitable-distribution, dual-classification state. Property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Either spouse may be awarded alimony, or “suit money,” as the court considers appropriate. No alimony may be awarded to a spouse who commits adultery, if the adultery contributed to the breakup of the marriage. South Carolina also considers rehabilitative alimony (for job training or education, etc.) and reimbursement alimony (to reimburse one spouse for the other spouse’s future earnings, based on circumstances or events in the marriage).
Child custody and child support: As in all states, child custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” In awarding custody, the court considers five factors including the child’s preference, if appropriate; any evidence of domestic violence; the current situation and nature of the divorce, and the religious faith of the parents. The parents have equal rights regarding any award of custody.
South Carolina child-support guidelines are based on an income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes. These figures are rough estimates only.
For a combined gross monthly income of:
- $2,000, support for one child is $404; for two children, $567; for three children, $653.
- $4,000, support for one child is $675; for two children, $934; for three children, $1,068.
- $5,000, support for one child is $747; for two children, $1,022; for three children, $1,158.
South Carolina has an on-line child support calculator that can help you figure child support in your case: http://www.state.sc.us/dss/csed/calculator.htm
Child support is paid until age 18, or until the child graduates from high school.
Click the following for an expert's overview and a list of articles on child custody and child support
The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.