This page will give you basic information about divorce law in Charleston, and South Carolina in general. No-fault divorce is when you have lived apart from your spouse for a full continuous year. The grounds for a fault based divorce in SC are adultery, habitual drunkenness, physical cruelty, and abandonment/desertion. The last one rarely happens because that usually amounts to a no fault separation, plus it is worth mentioning that mental cruelty is not recognised as grounds in this state. Divorces are granted in Family Courts including separations, child custody, support and alimony.

The most important aspect to any case is making sure our client’s goals align with ours. From our perspective, when someone has a problem we can make better, we’re always eager to help. Then we begin the process of seeking to achieve your aims. The process involves learning all the facts, and then finding a just and reasonable outcome. We have a team of people ready and willing to begin.

The state of South Carolina and our Charleston law firm are strong supporters of marriage. Just as the state has designed divorce laws to help support the institution of marriage, we serve as a resource to those in need of help.

When relationships break down it is tough on the entire family. Not only can it have long lasting emotional and physical implications, but if it’s not handled well, it can wreck your finances, credit, and employment opportunities. It is essential you have competent legal divorce law counsel on your side.

image of child in a south carolina divorce
When children are involved in divorce proceedings, there must be a custody agreement between the parties.

Divorce Laws FAQs

Do I need a divorce lawyer?

While it’s entirely possible to obtain a divorce in South Carolina without an attorney, there are many reasons it is beneficial to have a SC lawyer. For starters, the paperwork involved in divorcing can be complicated, and if it’s submitted incorrectly, the court will reject it with little or no explanation. Another reason an attorney is helpful is because he or she understands the process and the rules, which can help you gain your fair share from the divorce settlement. The most important reason why a lawyer is helpful is because divorce attorneys can negotiate better than most people. Having a professional negotiator is essential to getting the results you need – and negotiations work best when the decision maker (you) is removed from the back and forth.

Hiring a family lawyer can cost more than you want to spend, but in many cases it’s the only way to make sure you achieve the results you need. Often an attorney can save you money in the long run by negotiating a favorable settlement.

How do I get a divorce in South Carolina?

Divorce is never easy, and in fact it’s usually complicated. In South Carolina it requires the proper filing with the family court to initiate the case. There is a process for getting divorced, which you must follow or your case may be dismissed. For instance, you must file a complaint for divorce and the other party must answer, financial declarations must be filed with the appropriate information, and evidence must be exchanged. These can be simple matters, but not always.

Once the pleadings are filed and served, there may be a temporary hearing. After that, the sides exchange discovery, then negotiations begin. If those don’t resolve the case, then mediation is held. When this step does not produce a settlement, then the case goes to trial. Divorcing is possible without a lawyer, but it’s not easy. In the long run, it’s worth your money and time to hire a SC divorce attorney.

Do I need a new estate plan after a divorce?

Following a complete separation, both parties must reorganize all aspects of their lives. One of the most pressing issues is reanalyzing estate planning. This process involves wills, trusts, titling of property, investments, and powers of attorney. A married couple typically establishes their spouse as a beneficiary and power of attorney. When divorce occurs, all the prior estate planning becomes moot.

Often, an ex-spouse will be eliminated from legal documents. In a will, for instance, if your ex is named then the probate court would simply strike through the name as if he or she was deceased. That is problematic because there may not be a satisfactory backup, and sometimes the entire will may be tossed out if it no longer makes sense. When invalidated, the court treats your case as if you never made a will and you died intestate.

What happens to my business if I get divorced?

How to divide a business during a complete separation is a highly contested issue requiring litigation. If you own a firm and you are divorcing, chances are most of your assets are entangled with the organization. To make matters more complicated, business owners often own more than one company. Your house, cars, salary, property, and many other personal aspects of your life may be owned, paid by, or collateralized by the business.

There is almost never an easy way to divide up an organization, which means it’s often better to let it continue than divide it up. Figuring out a way to keep the company going is usually the best result for everyone, but finding a suitable path is hard. Often lawyers and forensic accountants are needed to figure it out. If you are divorcing and you own a business, it’s prudent to hire a South Carolina divorce attorney to assist.

Need help navigating divorce laws?

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Legal Aid and Support to Divorce

image of couple considering divorcing
From adultery to drunkenness to physical cruelty, there are a variety of reasons a person may seek a divorce.

We are not in the business of dividing couples, but we are committed to helping people make a difficult situation better. Ultimately, no one wants divorce. The truth is sometimes a complete separation is the only option, and having a lawyer walk you through the process can make a terrible situation much more manageable.


If you want to know more, including out of state issues and the risks to your children, please call the office now for an informal initial talk.

Learn more about what a divorce attorney can do for you, and contact us with any question.

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