“Y” is for “Domestic Relations One (1) YEAR Separate and Apart”

by Janne Berry Osborne on December 31, 2012

in Domestic Relations A to Z

Living Separate and Apart for One (1) Year is one of the five (5) grounds for divorce in the State of South Carolina.  It is also the closest thing that South Carolina has to a “No Fault” Divorce since the only requirement is that the parties did not live together for more than one (1) year.

But, there are some real pitfalls.  First of all, the proceedings cannot be filed until at least 366 days have passed since the parties last spent the night together.  If the parties were living in separate residences for six months and then spent the night together for 2 or 3 nights, the clock starts all over again – even if they live in separate residences for another six months.

The second potential problem is WHERE the parties are living separate and apart.  If the parties are living under a common roof – even if the wife is staying in the master bedroom and the husband is staying in the basement apartment – they are NOT considered to be living separate and apart.

To be absolutely sure you can obtain a divorce on the grounds of living separate and apart for more than one (1) year, make certain that

  1. You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for at least 366 days without having gotten back together for even as short a period as one (1) night.
  2.  You and your spouse have lived in two (2) different residences for the entire 366 days.

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