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CAN I FILE FOR A DIVORCE WHEN I'M STILL LIVING WITH MY SPOUSE?

The answer depends on why you are seeking the divorce from your spouse.

In South Carolina parties may only divorce if one of the following grounds exist:

1) adultery; 2) desertion for a period of one year; 3) physical cruelty; 4) habitual drunkenness; and 5) the no fault ground of living separate and apart continuously for a period of one year. S.C. Code ยง 20-3-10.

In order to seek a divorce on the ground of desertion and the no fault ground of living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year, the parties must not be living together. You must be living separate and apart from your spouse to file on these grounds. Your only option may be to move out and immediately file for separation or divorce and seek possession of the home as temporary relief at the initial hearing.

If you are filing under adultery, physical cruelty or habitual drunkenness, you do not have to live separate and apart before filing for a divorce. However, it is important that before you take any action, you consider your situation. If your spouse is physically cruel or habitually drunk, it may not be safe for you to remain in the home once they are served with divorce pleadings.

If you are contemplating filing for a divorce, consult a divorce attorney in your area before taking any actions. Attorneys can discuss your particular circumstances and help you decide what your next move should be.

If you find yourself in this situation, feel free to click here to contact me.

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Wilson & Luginbill, LLCAttorneys at Law

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