What You Should Know About Legal Separation in South Carolina

When first confronting serious marriage problems, many people refer to going thru a “legal separation”. In South Carolina, there is no official status for a “legal separation,” and being “legally separated” does not provide any protection or rights to an individual. In fact, if the parties to marriage separate but do nothing further, their rights and obligations are dangerously vague and uncertain. The good news is that it is not necessary for people in this situation to remain in this dangerous zone.

Many clients may not have the necessary factual elements or proof to obtain a divorce. Others many not want or need a divorce for economic, religious, or other reasons. A Decree of Separate Maintenance can provide all of the protection and stability of a Decree of Divorce while not ending a marriage. By taking advantage of this option, a person is not left with the uncertainty and dangers we discussed above. It is crucial that you discuss not only your current situation but your future goals with an experienced family law attorney in order to determine if a Decree of Separate Maintenance and Support, as opposed to a Decree of Divorce, is more appropriate for you.

A Decree of Separate Maintenance and Support Vs. A Decree of Divorce

A Decree of Separate Maintenance and Support can have many advantages over a Decree of Divorce. It may be possible to obtain more quickly. It may be obtained without the acrimony that is often spawned by allegations of a “fault” divorce. Finally, the process can be as simple as obtaining court approval of an agreement reached between spouses, saving both money and emotional trauma.

Alimony – Alimony (spousal support) can be granted in several forms including rehabilitative, reimbursement, and permanent periodic. The type of alimony to be sought and/or awarded depends on numerous factors specific to your situation. Additionally, alimony can last for a limited period of time or for the remainder of one’s life under certain circumstances. Our Family Attorneys will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your factual circumstances and help you determine a course of action to meet the needs of your current situation and your future goals.

It is important to remember that a spouse seeking alimony may be barred from receiving alimony if he or she engages in sexual relations with a third party under certain circumstances.

If you are in the Rock Hill or York County area of South Carolina, contact us by filling in the form below to get the support that you need through your separation. We’re here to help you through this. Contact McKinney, Tucker & Lemel LLC today for a free consultation.