What’s a Reason for Divorce

While I know there are many reasons and circumstances that lead to a couple or spouse determining it is time for a divorce, South Carolina only grants divorces when you are able to prove one of five divorce grounds.  Over the coming days we are going to delve into the five divorce grounds in depth, but today I want to highlight them for you and let you know what you are in store for.

So what are divorce grounds?  Divorce ground are the reason you are getting a divorce that state law recognizes as a way to get divorced?  For example, if your spouse cheats on you it is possible to proceed with a divorce on the grounds of adultery.  However, if there are no specific fault based reasons for divorce but you and your spouse simply can’t stay married for any other number of reasons you would proceed on the no-fault ground for divorce in South Carolina which is by being separated from your spouse for more than one year continuously.

The five divorce grounds in South Carolina are:

  1. Physical Cruelty
  2. Habitual Drunkenness and Drug Use
  3. Adultery
  4. Abandonment
  5. More than one year’s continuous separation.

The first four grounds listed above are all fault based grounds.  Number five is the no-fault divorce ground in South Carolina.  If you file for divorce using a fault-based ground, you must wait at least 90 days from the date of filing before you can request a final hearing.  Stay tuned for a more detailed discussion of each of the divorce grounds coming soon.


  1. What if We were married in another state but live in SC? Does the divorce go by SC law? I hope to God we don’t have to go to Florida to get a divorce.

    • It is possible to get a divorce in South Carolina even if you were married in another state. In order for a South Carolina Family Court to have jurisdiction to hear your case you or your spouse must be residents of South Carolina. If you are both residents of South Carolina then you may file for divorce here. If You are a resident, but your spouse lives in another state, you must reside here for more than one year prior to filing for divorce. Finally, if your spouse is a resident here in South Carolina, but you are not, you may file in South Carolina in the county where they reside.

  2. How much evidence do I need to charge adultery?

    • I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this stuff. South Carolina family courts are slow to give divorces on adultery grounds so you must be able to clearly prove your wife’s infidelity. The court does not require direct evidence such as pictures or video of a specific act; however, they do require you to be able to prove motive and opportunity. The motive part is easy. You pretty much have that now. That means they are spending time together and if they had an opportunity to commit adultery, they would. The opportunity part means you can prove that they are alone together in a place long enough to have sex. So you have a witness or someone who has seen them go into a hotel together or see her car parked at his house for several hours or over night.

      From what you have told me it sounds like you have been doing most of the investigating yourself. You will need another person who can testify to some of this information in court as well. This type proof must be corroborated, even if your wife confessed to the judge that she had been having an affair.

  3. My husband (plaintiff) and I (defendant) filed for a divorce, after been separated for over a year. Today he filed the request for the hearing and he asked in court if only him and his witness could come to the hearing, since I’m moving overseas and I’m not coming back. They said I have to file a waiver form for the final hearing and on there I have to agree with all the terms in this divorce. We talked already and we both agree to divorce, we don’t have any kids or any pendences to discuss. How can I find this form?? Can I do it myself or a need a legal representation? When can I file this waiver form?

  4. Talli Sailer says:

    How are emotional and financial abuse not reasons for divorce.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because if you {as was I} were unfortunate enough to get stuck in SC in a marriage here (in my case, the stress has destroy what was my excellent health)
      your flat out of luck. I’ve had it, and am going to create a campaign to let people
      know. The problem is that people move here, assuming laws are pretty much like the rest of the USA. Please feel free to respond to me, I’d like to know what part of the state you live in. I need others who can tell their stories, so I’m not a crazy person, just itching to get rid of a perfectly delightful husband! Hope to hear from you! My name is Julie.

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