HELPFUL INFORMATION

Helpful Information

GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE, SEPARATE SUPPORT & MAINTENANCE


South Carolina allows someone to file for divorce under five grounds. These include the following:

• Adultery • Physical Cruelty • Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Abuse • Desertion for a Period of One Year

• Continuously Living Separate and Apart for One Year

Even in cases where the divorce is uncontested, a witness will be necessary to prove the grounds for divorce. 

If  you do not have grounds for divorce, you may have an action for Separate Support & Maintenance if you are not currently living with your spouse. Under this action, the family court may deal with all issues that are typically addressed in a divorce, but not the actual divorce itself. These issues may include child custody and/or support, alimony, and division of assets and/or debts. It is not uncommon for couples to go through this action and then be granted a divorce once the required one year period of separation has run its course.

The law varies according to individual cases, and the above may not apply to your situation.  The above message is intended for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice for any individual.  Please call us for a consultation to determine how you should proceed.



What Is A Guardian Ad Litem?


A Guardian ad Litem may be appointed in a child custody case by the judge and/or consent of the parties when there is a dispute regarding custody and the best interests of the child, allegations of abuse and neglect, an adoption or a termination of parental rights. A Guardian ad Litem is a person who must meet certain statutory requirements to serve and who may investigate the situation by many possible means including, but not limited to interviews, home visits, obtaining criminal histories of the parties, and/or reviewing medical and school records for the child. Generally, one or both parties to a custody action are responsible for paying the Guardian ad Litem for his or her services.

What Are Advance Directives?


A Living Will is a document that you can sign indicating to medical personnel and your family and friends your wishes should you become very ill. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a document that gives a person you designate the ability to make your healthcare decisions for you when you are no longer able to. You may also make a document that gives another person the ability to make financial decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so. You must be mentally competent when you sign these documents and have them appropriately witnessed. The person you choose to serve as your "agent" and make your decisions should be someone you trust.  
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