South Carolina divorce law recognizes no-fault and fault divorces. Under no-fault, both parties must live apart for at least one year. Fault divorce requires proof that the marriage is irretrievably broken due to adultery, desertion (for a period of one year), physical cruelty, or substance abuse.
South Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that the courts encourage the spouses to settle property and debts outside of the courtroom, but if they cannot agree, then the court will decide. The laws provide for equitable distribution of the marital property. This does not necessarily mean equal division.
Spousal support is awarded on a case-by-case basis. Either the parties or the courts decide. When deciding the terms of spousal support, under South Carolina divorce laws, the court will consider factors such as duration of the marriage and the respective ages of both parties, the standard of living during the marriage, and the custody of children.
South Carolina requires that either the plaintiff or the defendant must have been a resident for at least one year, which is longer than in most states. If both spouses are residents, however, the plaintiff is only required to have been residing in the state for a minimum of three months.
The court may grant alimony or separate maintenance and support in an amount that it sees fit, and for such term as the court considers appropriate as from the circumstances of the parties and the nature of case. No alimony may be awarded a spouse who commits adultery before.