Legal Separation vs.Divorce
What is the difference?
Technically there is no such thing as a “legal separation” in South Carolina. But South Carolina does recognize a “decree of separate maintenance and support.” It allows a husband and wife to live separate and does many of the same things as in a divorce: Property is divided, child custody is determined, child support and alimony are set etc. The primary difference is that you are still married. Remaining married can be useful for some purposes such as remaining eligible for medical insurance coverage.
How do I file for Legal separation?
If you choose to file for legal separation you will need to file a Summons and Complaint with the Court asking to live separate and apart from your Wife or Husband. You can do this yourself or hire a Charleston separation lawyer to help you. I will give you one guess as to who I would recommend. 🙂
Does my Wife or Husband have to agree with the divorce?
No. In the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” the Wife came back to Alabama to get the Husband to “sign papers” and allow her to get a divorce. In real life it doesn’t matter whether your spouse agrees or not they can’t stop you from getting a divorce. They CAN argue over everything and make it slower and more expensive but they can’t stop you from getting a divorce.
What is separation?
A separation is when two married people are living in separate physical locations. A legal separation in South Carolina does not mean staying in separate bedrooms. It means staying at separate addresses not under the same roof.
Separation Legal Advice
Need separation legal advice you can trust? Call me. The first meeting is FREE. Call 843-863-1800
Do I need a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is not required to start the legal separation. However, it is usually helpful to make an agreement while the other person is “agreeable” and thereby saving yourself time, money and stress. As the Bible says, there is a time for everything: “There is a time to sow and a time to harvest.” Likewise there is a time to reach an agreement in your divorce and separation case. Most of the time you should take advantage of the “agreement time” to get your case settled.
South Carolina Divorce laws–Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina
The four fault grounds are adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness and physical cruelty
Adultery—A spouse is having a romantic relationship outside the marriage
Desertion for One Year—A spouse deserts the other for at least a year
Habitual Drunkenness—One spouse is a habitual drunk or drug addict
Physical Cruelty—One spouse is physically abused
One Year separation–If you and your spouse have been separated and living apart for at least a year, in which case you are eligible for a no-fault divorce.