In South Carolina, unless there is a fault ground for divorce such as Physical Cruelty, Habitual Drunkeness, or Adultery, you have to first separate before you can begin the process of working toward a divorce. Once you start living separate and apart, you may file an action with the court to request a decree of separate maintenance and support. In this decree, the court will decide all issues arising from your marriage other than the issue of divorce. In other words, as soon as you are living separate and apart, the court can determine child custody, child support, property division, spousal support and alimony, attorneys fees, and other issues arising from your marriage. After you have been separated one year, you may then file for divorce on the ground of living separate and apart for one year. There has been legislation introduced to reduce this one year waiting period to a much shorter time, but as of now it is still one year in South Carolina.
If you are considering a separation, please schedule a consultation with me in either our Rock Hill or Columbia office. I handle cases all over the state including Newberry, Lexington, Columbia, Camden, Chester, Lancaster, Rock Hill, Greenwood, and many other counties.