While there are many states who implement no-fault divorce laws, South Carolina is not one of them. While the state does allow a no-fault divorce to take place on the condition that spouses live separate from one another for at least one year, if you are looking to legally end your marriage by other means, you will need grounds to do so.
Of course, it is not always a matter of simply making a claim against your spouse, hiring an attorney and filing paperwork. Let’s start by looking at what the state considers viable reasons for divorcing your spouse:
- Physical cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Drug addiction
These claims, of course, will need to be proven by the spouse filing for divorce and their family law attorney.
Possible defenses for a fault divorce
There are cases in which a spouse who has received Summons and Complaint may choose to argue in defense against these grounds. Their defense will depend on the specifics of the claim itself.
For example, “condonation” is a claim the defending spouse may make if the filing spouse was aware of the defending spouse’s actions and consented to continue the marriage or otherwise forgave the defending spouse. In other words, the filing spouse condoned the actions of the divorcing spouse prior to filing for divorce.
Another possible defense falls under provocation. In this case, the filing spouse may have provoked the other into the very conduct that they now claim are grounds for a divorce. The possible grounds and defenses vary case-by-case and the details will need to be reviewed by your attorney to determine your best steps moving forward.