Legal Separation Lawyers in Charleston

File for Separation in South Carolina

A separation period is when you and your spouse make the conscious decision to live apart from one another. In South Carolina, the only way for couples to get a no-fault divorce is to live separately for one year. Living separately occurs when spouses live in two different locations. Living in different bedrooms in the same house does not qualify as living separately.


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South Carolina Rules on Orders of Separate Maintenance & Support

In South Carolina, legal separation is not recognized by the courts. Instead, Orders of Separate Maintenance and Support are issued. These are Orders regarding arrangements for visitation, child custody, alimony, and property division, including marital debts.

  • Either husband or wife can file for an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support as long as the spouses are living apart.

Order of Separate Maintenance and Support are usually a permanent resolution to issues related to children, property, and support although your marriage is not officially ended. These orders allow for all of the issues between you to be resolved without requiring proof of grounds for divorce or a waiting period of one year.

The following issues will be addressed:

  • Closing joint accounts
  • Allocating marital debt
  • Spousal support
  • Health insurance
  • Child custody, visitation, and support
  • Which spouse will remain in the family's home
  • Who will be responsible for paying bills during the separation period
  • Transferring titles to personal property (e.g. automobiles and boats)

The issues addressing the division of retirement accounts, using life insurance as collateral for alimony, and awarding post-divorce alimony are not addressed in temporary orders; they are all considered final issues that will be dealt with at a later time.

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If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on the relevant issues, a judge will hold a trial, take testimony, and rule on each of the issues presented. Whether the case goes to court or you can mediate the case, we can help!


To learn more about Orders of Separate Maintenance and Support and how they affect divorce, contact Shaw Law Firm, LLC for a consultation with our attorney!


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There are numerous reasons why Shaw Law Firm, LLC is the choice of so many families. We are committed to providing compassionate, focused, and tireless legal support. We work hard on every case to take to secure the best outcome possible. If you are facing a legal issue, don't wait to get help. Call our firm today to find out what we can do for you.

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