Requirements for Divorce In South Carolina: Can a Judge Order Us to Attend Counseling?
South Carolina is a relatively conservative state, particularly in the Family Court system. The courts cannot grant a divorce unless certain grounds are proven.
Grounds for divorce in South Carolina include:
- Desertion for at least 1 year
- Physical cruelty
- Habitual Alcohol or drug abuse
- One year’s continuous separation
In addition, a divorce cannot be granted unless the trial judge has attempted to reconcile the parties and finds that that such efforts were unsuccessful. A judge can order a counselor to foster reconciliation between spouses, however, it’s not commonly done. Most often the judge will simply ask the parties if there is anything that can be done to save their marriage. If the parties are certain that they have exhausted all efforts and cannot be reconciled then the judge will grant the divorce.
Additional Divorce Requirements
The parties must meet residency requirements. Either the parties must have resided in South Carolina for more than three months or one of the parties must have resided in the state for more than one year. Once residency requirements are met, the case may be filed in the appropriate venue. Venue refers to the county. In a divorce action, the Plaintiff has the choice of filing the case either in the county in which the parties last lived together or in the county where the Defendant resides. The venue is waivable, meaning that if both parties agree they may file in an alternative county.
How Long Will My Divorce Take to Finalize?
Divorce does signal the end of one life and the beginning of another. It is important to remember that closure, both legal and emotional, takes time. No two cases are the same. Divorce is not as simple as closing a book and walking away.
With that said, a divorce may take years to accomplish or may be finalized within a matter of weeks, depending on the complexity of the case. If the parties have an agreement to resolve all of their financial and/or child related issues then a divorce can be achieved very quickly.
As always, it is best that you consult first with an experienced Charleston divorce attorney. At the Shaw Law Firm, LLC, we strive to help our clients resolve their divorce issues with as little disruption as possible. We offer our high-quality legal services and we prioritize your best interests.
Do not hesitate to discuss your divorce matter with us! Contact us and request a free consultation.