The laws and process of divorce can vary significantly from state to state. While divorce is hard on everyone, some states are known for laws that make it “too easy” for couples to end their marriages. Meanwhile, other states seem to make it as difficult as possible to obtain a divorce. The Palmetto State is one of the worst offenders. South Carolina is consistently named among the states that make it the most difficult for its residents to get divorced.
Divorce Laws in Greenville, South Carolina
- Residency Requirements. Almost every state requires at least one spouse to be a resident before they can file for divorce within its borders. The average residency requirement in the states is six months, but many states only make you stay a few weeks. South Dakota and Alaska have no residency requirements at all. South Carolina is tied for the longest residency requirement in the United States: one spouse must live within the state for at least 12 months before a couple can get divorced.
- Separation Requirements. Many states require a legal separation for a designated number of weeks or months before filing for divorce. While legal separations are not granted in South Carolina, state law requires a married couple live separately for at least 12 months before the divorce process can begin. The state does make an exception for at-fault divorces, but a fault divorce can be even more difficult to obtain.
- Waiting Periods. While Nevada residents can get divorced in a single day, many other states have a mandatory waiting period from the time a divorce petition is filed to the day it is finalized. Greenville residents must wait 90 days after filing for divorce to obtain a divorce decree, which is slightly longer than the average 60-day waiting period.
How the Divorce Rate in South Carolina Measures Up to National Divorce Trends
All in all, it takes a minimum of 15 months from the time you break up to get divorced, longer than every other state besides Arkansas and Rhode Island. South Carolina’s strict rules surrounding divorce are intended to deter couples from ending their marriages on a whim. The divorce rate in South Carolina is slightly below average, while states with notoriously pro-divorce laws like California and Nevada have some of the country’s highest rates of divorce. However, the data is unclear whether separation requirements and mandatory waiting periods are successful at curbing the divorce rate. Divorce trends are complex and often impacted by outside factors such as level of education, socioeconomic status, and cultural norms.
Need Legal Assistance? Call a Greenville Divorce Attorney.
South Carolina may not make it easy to get divorced, but the right attorney can help. The experienced and compassionate family law attorneys at Elliott Frazier Law Firm can provide the legal support you need to get through this. To schedule a consultation, call our office in Greenville, South Carolina or submit a contact request form on our website.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.