The state of South Carolina recognizes five grounds for divorce. The main four are: adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse, and physical cruelty. These four grounds all require proof in order for the divorce to be processed.
The final ground for divorce recognized in South Carolina is one year of separation. This fifth ground requires that a couple be separate for at least a year before they file for what is known as an uncontested divorce. Divorce in general is often an emotional and very difficult process. Emotions run high and things can get messy very quickly. For couples who want to divorce without all of the stress and mess, an uncontested divorce following a separation is an excellent way to divorce with dignity.
Separation and Separation Agreements
In order to file for an uncontested divorce, a couple must be separated for at least a year. During a separation a couple is able to spend time apart to see if divorce is really the right option for them before deciding to officially end the marriage.
A year of separation also gives the couple time to work out any issues that might come up in a divorce with a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a contract between a couple when they agree to separate as they think through the possibility of divorce. This agreement allows the couple to work out any issues with their finances, dividing up property, and coming to an agreement on custody and parenting issues.
Divorce with Dignity: Uncontested Divorce
Because of the separation agreement, a year of separation helps a couple work out any issues so that they can file for an uncontested divorce easily. An important part of an uncontested divorce is that the couple agrees on all of the issues with their divorce. They agree on how to divide finances, how to take care of their children, and any other issues that may come up. Because of a separation agreement, a couple has already been able to work these issues out. So, an uncontested divorce can be processed quickly and with as much dignity as possible.
If you would like to know more about uncontested divorce and separation agreements, please contact Christine M. Howard Law and we would be happy to work with you!