All over the U.S., divorce rates are declining. In South Carolina, the divorce rate dropped by nearly 50 percent between 1990 (4.5 percent) and 2014 (2.9 percent).
Marriage isn’t easy. Every marriage has its own particular challenges and advantages, making every divorce different in its own way. The financial recession and resulting hard times, especially losses of homes and jobs, put a lot of extra pressure on marriages. Modern pressures on marriage include the impact of social media, which makes it very easy to “reach out and touch” that old boyfriend or girlfriend. And there’s an avalanche of free, often conflicting advice from friends and in the news media as well, that can make it difficult to make your own, thoughtful decisions. But the decision to divorce, increasingly, may seem like an extreme reaction.
What are the factors keeping SC marriages together these days? It’s a cold world out there, and it takes a lot to build a new life on one’s own. Said one SC pastor (foxcarolina.com), “People nowadays are starting to look at the fact that they have invested so much in the relationship, where before when something goes wrong they just walk away.” The pastor believes that counseling can help prevent a divorce, contributing to the declining rate.
For one, according to foxcarolina.com, South Carolina, “being the Bible belt,” is a state that makes it harder for people to get divorced. The four fault-based grounds for divorce, which can speed a divorce to 90 days, are adultery, habitual drunkenness or narcotics abuse, physical cruelty, and one year’s desertion. When your divorce lacks the fault-based grounds for divorce, however, it takes a year of a couple’s living apart before you can file for your no-fault divorce. In fact, ABC News has counted SC among the “the top seven worst states for divorce.” (The story also singled out Arkansas, California, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.)
The reason for South Carolina’s dubious distinction is the state’s minimum of one year’s separation before filing, as well as being tied with Vermont for third-longest divorce processing time. It’s even more difficult when you file for divorce on fault ground. The petition must contain the correct language. There are extra requirements in the case of adultery and other specific pleading and process requirements for certain fault grounds.
The seasoned family law and divorce lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by attorney Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the challenging divorce process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, pre-nuptial agreements, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of divorce law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (800) 283-1380.