Can I get Divorced in South Carolina if I was Married in Another State?

I am faced with this in my practice every day.  A prospective client comes in who went with their spouse to Gatlinburg or Las Vegas to get married or maybe they are from another part of the country and find themselves at this time in South Carolina facing a divorce.

South Carolina law will allow you to get a divorce in South Carolina no matter where you were married.  Basically, this is a question of jurisdiction – meaning what kind of cases the court can hear.  In order for a South Carolina Family Court to hear your divorce case you must meet a few criteria.

First, if both you and your spouse are South Carolina residents then you can file your divorce here.  Second, if you are not a South Carolina resident, but your spouse is, you can file in South Carolina.  Third, if your spouse is not a resident, but you have lived in South Carolina for more than one year you may file in South Carolina.

So, it boils down to whether you or your spouse are currently residents of South Carolina to determine if you can file for divorce in a South Carolina Family Court.

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