Do I Have to File Divorce Paperwork Before Separating in South Carolina? | LegalZoom Legal Info
South Carolina law is strict about the requirement that the husband and wife must be continuously separated for one full year before filing. If the couple reunites. Dating during a separation period could permanently bar you from alimony and may Common Law Marriage does exist in S.C., but it is not determined by the. South Carolina family law attorneys get asked the question all the time: dating and divorce is that post-separation conduct, including dating.
Yet there are risks in dating before one is divorced.
Do I Have to File Divorce Paperwork Before Separating in South Carolina?
However my clients often want to explore new romantic relationships. Each client needs to determine his or her own balance regarding the risks and rewards of dating during marital dissolution litigation. This blog is intending to help litigants understand these risks. A whole subset of risk arises when child custody is an issue. WilliamsS. AllisonS. However paramour exposure prior to divorce, especially overnight paramour exposure, can be a factor in custody.
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If a parent is going to date prior to a divorce that parent needs to be warned not to expose the child to those he or she dates. Alimony and property division can also be affected when a spouse dates prior to a final order of separate maintenance. Dating often leads to accusations of adultery, and sometimes dating leads to actual adultery. Post-separation adultery can be a major factor in alimony and a small factor in property division.
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For the spouse seeking alimony, adultery can act as an absolute bar. While spouses are legally separated, they are still married. A couple is either married or not married in South Carolina. A common mistake is people thinking they can now date freely because they are separated. If conduct would have been considered adultery during a marriage, it would still be considered adultery during the period of separation, as the parties are still married.
The dangers of dating before divorce (or before a final order of separate maintenance)
Is there a legal separation form? There is no legal separation form.Can you date during your divorce?
You may request a temporary hearing and seek an Order of Separate Support and Maintenance with the help of your attorney. Is there a legal separation agreement?
This agreement is negotiated between the two parties. Your attorney can help you negotiate to protect your interests. These agreements settle important issues like division of real estate and personal property; child support; alimony; allocation of debts and legal fees; health and life insurance arrangements; and custody and visitation of minor children.
What is the cost for a legal separation? There is no set amount. Different attorneys charge different hourly rates and may have different fee structures.
Legal Separation | South Carolina Bar
What is the process for a legal separation? There is no legal status between being married and divorce. Getting an Order of Separation and Maintenance accomplishes the same goals.
A party can request a temporary hearing to ask the Court for relief during the separation period. What are the benefits of legal separation? Filing for Separate Support and Maintenance can help protect each spouse financially and provide financial assistance for any minor children. A lot can happen during that time. Debt can accrue, a party may need child support or visitation, or a party may need the Court to order a party not to dispose of marital assets.