Family law matters can be complex and emotionally challenging. Understanding the specific laws and regulations in South Carolina is crucial for navigating these issues successfully. In this blog post, we will address some frequently asked questions related to family law in South Carolina, providing you with valuable information and general guidance.

Question: How quickly can I obtain a divorce in South Carolina?


The time frame for obtaining a divorce in South Carolina varies depending on the grounds for divorce.

  • No-fault divorces require a continuous period of one year of living separate and apart before filing.
  • Fault-based divorces, such as adultery, physical cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or drug use may have a waiting period of 90 days.

It’s important to note that issues such as child custody and property division may cause your case to take longer than a year to finalize.

Question: How much does it cost to get divorced in South Carolina?


The cost of a divorce in South Carolina varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the case. It is advisable to consult with a family law attorney to get a better understanding of the potential costs associated with your specific situation.

Question: Can I receive alimony? Will I be awarded child support?


It is crucial to understand that alimony and child support are distinctly different legal matters, and South Carolina law considers various factors when making determinations for each.

Child support is typically awarded by the court unless both parties explicitly agree otherwise. On the other hand, alimony is not guaranteed and may or may not be granted, even in marriages lasting ten years or more.

For alimony, the length of the marriage is a key consideration. Marriages lasting less than ten years may result in temporary alimony or no alimony at all. Additional factors considered include the ages of the parties, their employability, income levels, and whether either party is willfully unemployed or underemployed.

Child support calculations, on the other hand, revolve around factors such as the number of children involved, the average gross income of both parents, existing child support payments, visitation schedules, and child-related expenses. These factors collectively determine the child support amount.

Question: Could I lose custody of my children?


Child custody determinations in South Carolina are based on the best interests of the child. Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the ability to provide a stable environment, any history of abuse or neglect, and the child’s preference (if appropriate) are considered. Every custody case is unique, and outcomes depend on the specific circumstances.

Question: What are some of the common custody arrangements in family court?


South Carolina recognizes both sole custody and joint custody arrangements.

  • Sole custody grants one parent primary physical and legal custody of the child, with the other parent typically having visitation rights.
  • Joint custody involves shared responsibilities, with one parent having primary custody.

The court determines custody arrangements based on the best interests of the child, considering stability, parental involvement, and the child’s relationship with each parent.

Question: How is marital property divided in South Carolina?


In South Carolina, marital property division operates on equitable distribution principles, aiming for a fair, though not necessarily equal, allocation. While various factors are considered during this process, it’s essential to note that, in practice, the majority of cases result in a nearly equal division, often with each party receiving approximately 50% of the marital estate.

While factors such as the length of the marriage, contributions to the marital estate, and the value of non-marital property are indeed relevant, courts in South Carolina frequently strive for a balanced distribution. This means that, in many instances, assets and debts acquired during the marriage are divided as equally as possible between the parties involved.

Consult with a Family Law attorney in Greenville, SC.

Navigating family law matters in South Carolina requires a solid understanding of the state’s laws and regulations. While these frequently asked questions provide some general information, it’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney for personalized guidance.

At Ellis Law, we are dedicated to providing compassionate and knowledgeable representation to individuals facing family law issues in the Upstate of South Carolina. Contact Ellis Law today for a free confidential consultation with an attorney in Greenville and Spartanburg. Fill out this form to get connected with our firm’s attorneys or call us at 864-991-8738. We are here to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process.