Proving You’ve Been Separated for More than 1 year

When you have filed for an uncontested divorce in South Carolina usually the no-fault ground of more than one year’s continuous separation is used as the ground for divorce.  This means that you and your spouse have not resided together in the same residence for more than one year.  I am questioned by clients about how they are going to prove this.  Sometimes, in counseling a client who is considering leaving their spouse, they want to know what they should do to make sure that once their one year passes they will not have to worry about their spouse being about to avoid the divorce by proving they have not lived separate and apart for more than one year.

In a typical case, a witness who is at least 18 years old and has known the parties for more than one year is used to testify about the length of separation and that they are confident that the parties have not lived together in more than one year.  Their testimony could include that they call or visit one spouse on a regular basis and the other spouse is never present and it does not appear that the other spouse is residing in the home.  It is also nice to have testimony from the witness stating that they are confident that they know the parties (or one of the parties) well enough that if the couple had gotten back together they would know about.

Unless the other party can prove that you have lived together in the last year you will not need any more than that to prove separation or the date of separation so it is usually not necessary for you to have a copy of the receipt from the hotel you booked the night you moved out.


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