When filing for divorce in South Carolina on the grounds of spousal abandonment, it is important to understand the state’s divorce laws and how they define abandonment. Understanding South Carolina divorce laws concerning abandonment will allow you to be prepared and have everything you need in court.
A Greenville divorce attorney can help you when spousal abandonment is an issue.
Desertion of Spouse in South Carolina
South Carolina’s laws only refer to abandonment in terms of a parent-child relationship.
Desertion of a spouse in South Carolina is defined as spouses living separately for a period of one year without the consent of the spouse or justification for the actions. It is considered grounds for fault in a divorce proceeding in South Carolina.
In South Carolina, there are five legal grounds for filing for divorce. They include adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, desertion, and no-fault.
A no-fault divorce also requires that the spouses live separately for one year but does not assign fault. This is important regarding the division of property, child custody, and alimony requests. When a spouse can prove to the court that the other was at fault for one of the accepted reasons, they can gain an advantage.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
Marital property is to be distributed equitably in South Carolina. Generally, as long as the spouses agree to the property distribution, the court will approve their agreement. When there is a dispute over property, as is common in contested divorce cases, the family court will determine how property is distributed.
If you have already shown that your spouse was at fault for the divorce the court will likely divide the property more favorably.
What is considered marital property?
Any property, real or personal, that was bought during the marriage with marital funds. This includes real estate as well as personal property like vehicles, furniture, and other large purchases. South Carolina law does not require a 50/50 split of the property, only that the court considers the division equitable. This gives the court more leeway in dividing property when marital misconduct has been proven.
What’s considered non-marital property?
Property that was owned prior to the marriage is non-marital property and the family court has no jurisdiction to divide non-marital property. Also excluded is any property that was received as an inheritance by only one spouse or received as a gift to only one spouse. If the property was a gift bought by one spouse for another it is marital property.
Contact Elliott Frazier Law Firm
Be sure your property and rights are protected if you have been abandoned by your spouse in Greenville, South Carolina, contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm. Consult with a South Carolina divorce lawyer who knows how to apply the laws to your situation and grant you better peace of mind.
Spousal Abandonment FAQs
Is leaving the marital home considered desertion?
Desertion is when one spouse leaves with no explanation and no consent from the other spouse. Simply moving out of the home is not necessarily desertion.
How do you prove the desertion of a spouse?
You must provide direct evidence to support your claim. The evidence must prove that you have lived separately for one year, that you did not consent to the separation, and that there have been no marital relations during that time.