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What Is The Difference Between Fault And No-Fault Divorce In South Carolina?

Making the decision to divorce is never easy. Once you have exhausted all other options, however, it may be your best path for moving forward with your life. When it is time to begin the divorce process, whether or not you opt for a fault or no-fault divorce is an important consideration.

Help From A Skilled Attorney

At Ballinger Law Firm, we work with individuals in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, and also Berkeley and Dorchester Counties as they navigate divorce proceedings. Founding attorney Beverly K. Ballinger understands that divorce is often an emotionally trying event, and she works tirelessly to ensure that her clients’ best interests are protected. With 33 years of legal experience, her focus on divorce, family law and other matters, gives her the skill to help you find the best solution for your situation.

When Is A Party At Fault In A Divorce?

In a fault divorce, one spouse receives the blame for causing the marriage to deteriorate. When dividing marital property, fault is one of over 15 factors a court will take into consideration.  If you have significant assets you wish to protect, a fault divorce may make sense for you. The grounds for a fault divorce in South Carolina include:

  • Physical abuse: Proof of physical abuse can be used to establish fault.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse issues: If your spouse has addiction issues that led to the collapse of your marriage. 
  • Adultery: Evidence of an affair can be used in court to prove your spouse was at fault for your divorce. This evidence may be used to prevent your spouse from obtaining alimony.
  • Desertion: If an individual deserts their spouse for more than one year, under the law this constitutes fault. 

Unlike a no-fault divorce, a fault divorce does not require a one-year separation. Because there is a burden of proof for a fault divorce, however, it is often prudent to retain the services of an experienced family law attorney.

Is A No-Fault Divorce Right For You?

A no-fault divorce can be an ideal solution for ending a marriage in a more amicable fashion. As this mode of divorce does not call for you to establish liability, it can be done without substantial litigation. South Carolina does require that couples seeking a no-fault divorce be separated for a period of no less than one year.

Determining whether or not to opt for a fault or no-fault divorce depends greatly on your situation. By consulting with a lawyer, you can better understand the options available to you before making such an impactful life decision.

Call Our Firm Today For Guidance On How To Proceed With Your Divorce

To arrange for a consultation to discuss your legal options, call us today at 843-790-7807. For your convenience, you may also contact our firm via email by visiting our contact page.