Currently, South Carolina residents wishing to get a divorce are required to live separate and apart for a full year. But a newly proposed bill could shorten the waiting period to six months, according to a recent report from WISTV Charleston.
Although South Carolina doesn’t officially recognize legal separation, actions for separate support and maintenance serve more or less similar functions. The current one year separate living requirement provides a no-fault avenue couples can pursue when they experience irreconcilable differences or want to take a less contentious route to divorce.
But is one year an appropriate requirement for a waiting period? Some believe that the process is a cost-prohibitive. Two different households and two different sets of expenses comprise a drastic change from single-home life.
Others believe that the one-year waiting period is a drawn out process that can negatively impact the children involved in divorce.
Some individuals – especially those who have been through divorce – simply believe that “when it’s over, it’s over” and that citizens shouldn’t be forced to wait such a significant period of time before putting the past behind them.
According to WISTV, the bill has received a positive recommendation in the State House thus far and will be taken up again next session.