SC Divorce Bill Could Affect Future Charleston Divorces

In South Carolina, spouses wishing to file for divorce on no fault-based grounds are required to be separated for one full year before they can officially divorce. However, a newly proposed bill in the South Carolina State House could change that precedent and expedite the process for spouses who don’t want to wait the full year.

“Right now in South Carolina, if a couple wants to get divorced and there’s no adultery, physical cruelty, desertion or habitual drunkenness, the couple has to be separated for at least one year. But under a bill now in the South Carolina House of Representatives, that time would be reduced to 150 days.

Rep. Walt McLeod, D-Little Mountain, sponsor of the bill, says, “Tennessee has a rule called ‘irreconcilable differences.’ Georgia has ‘irretrievably broken.’ Florida has a 90-day timeframe for no-fault divorce. So when we’re talking about a no-fault divorce, where there’s no dispute, then it’s time to just take some action.'” (read more…)

The new South Carolina law would call for a separation period of less than half of what’s currently required.

Members of a House subcommittee debated the bill but did not take a vote before adjourning. As per SC state law, the bill would require a change to the state constitution – an action that would require approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate.

For Charleston divorce lawyers, the bill would allow for a smoother process in no-fault cases where there aren’t any disputes – no longer would the divorce law cause cases to unnecessarily drag on.

What do you think about the law? How do you think it will affect SC couples?