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South Carolina Requirements for a Dissolution of Marriage

by Lynda Moultry Belcher

According to the Going Legal website, South Carolina had the 19th lowest rate of divorce in the U.S. as of 2009. When filing for divorce in this state -- or in any other state -- it is important to follow the guidelines set forth by the state to govern this process. In addition to the paperwork, the reason for filling must be valid as per the acceptable list of reasons for a South Carolina marriage dissolution.

Grounds for Filing

In South Carolina, a couple cannot file for divorce for just any reason. The reason must fall under the acceptable guidelines as determined by the South Carolina court system. In order to file for dissolution, the couple is required to cite one of the following reasons, provided they are true, accurate and applicable to the situation: One or both parties deserted the marriage for at least one year (this means living apart for the duration), adultery, physical abuse or frequent alcohol or drug abuse.

Residency Requirements

In order for a couple to officially file for dissolution of marriage in South Carolina, the person filing the paperwork must be a resident of the state for a period of 12 months, according to Divorcesource.com. If both parties live in South Carolina, the plaintiff has a residency requirement of three months. The filing must take place either in the county where the couple last lived together or in the county in which the person initiating the dissolution lives.

Document Requirements

The two major required documents for a divorce filing in South Carolina are the Complaint for Divorce and the Decree of Divorce, according to Divorcesupport.com. There are between 10 and 20 additional documents needed, such as child support/alimony documentation, assets filing and more, depending on the nature of the divorce. The less complicated the divorce, the less paperwork is required. When there are children, property and extensive shared financial portfolios, the paperwork is more involved.

About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.