If one party has lived in South Carolina for at least one year, that party can file for divorce in South Carolina even if the other spouse has never set foot in this state.
Other issues such as the division of property, alimony, visitation, and child support, however, require obtaining personal jurisdiction over the nonresident spouse.
Each of the 46 counties in the Palmetto State has a Family Court.
Actions for divorce are tried in the county where the Defendant resides at the commencement of the action, or the county where the parties last resided together as husband and wife.
If the Defendant is not a South Carolina resident, then the action is tried in the county where the Plaintiff resides.
In addition, there is one “no-fault” ground recognized by South Carolina courts, called “Living Separate and Apart for One Year Without Cohabitation.” In order to obtain a divorce, the party filing for divorce must prove at least one of these grounds with legally sufficient evidence.
“Legally sufficient evidence” refers to that evidence which satisfies the Court that one of the grounds exists, and this is done usually via third party testimony, a witness or private detective who can testify to a couple’s lack of cohabitation, or a party’s infidelity. Your spouse cannot stop you from obtaining a divorce if you can prove your ground for divorce and your spouse does not have a legitimate defense to dispute your claim.