Divorce court can be tricky, especially if you’re lacking proper representation. Before you get in front of a judge, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the options you’ll consider. A few of those familiar divorce terms, are no-fault and at-fault divorce. You’ve likely heard these terms before, but might not know exactly how they are determined. So, we’re here to help make this whole divorce business a little less confusing…

No-Fault & At-Fault Divorce: Deciphering Familiar Divorce Terms

At-fault divorce

An at-fault divorce is when the filing party claims that the other party caused the divorce. The grounds for an at-fault divorce in SC include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Desertion for more than one year
  • Habitual Drunkenness or drug use

The spouse claiming fault must be able to prove the grounds he or she alleges…

If one party proves adultery ended the marriage, the side that committed adultery will likely not receive alimony. The desertion for more than a year grounds does not apply to incarcerated spouses or military spouses. If a party proves any of the other grounds listed above, the judge may also make decisions regarding alimony and child custody. However, courts decide custody issues based on the child’s best interests. Thus, if one party proves grounds such as physical cruelty or habitual drug use, these grounds are more likely to affect custody issues. Adultery grounds may affect custody if the spouse exposed the children to the affair. However, many times, adultery will have little effect on custody arrangements.

No-Fault Divorce

On the other hand, no-fault divorces don’t claim the grounds listed above. Instead, no-fault divorces consider the fact that the couple has been separated for more than one year. This means the spouses must go a full year without living together or spending just one night together. A no-fault divorce won’t affect factors such as alimony and custody. In this case, the parties make separate arguments and present evidence for these issues.

You have options…

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you have plenty of options. The key, is finding someone to help you figure out what option is the best for you. That starts with seeking the right representation. By finding that person, you’ll be able to lay out the facts of your case, and decide what route best fits your situation. We wish you luck in this difficult time, and offer our services if you might need them.