There is no true "legal separation" in South Carolina. However, you Dating someone before a divorce is finalized is legally adultery. South.
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Even for the supporting spouse, dating can pose a danger on alimony. In making an award of alimony or separate maintenance and support, the court must consider and give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate ….
Can You Date While Separated in SC? | Kimmons Law
An unreported Court of Appeals opinion, Lake v. Post-separation adultery can also be a factor in equitable division. However, unlike with alimony, such post-separation adultery is only a factor in equitable distribution if it occurs prior to the court issuing a temporary order in the case. In making apportionment, the court must give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate to all of the following factors ….
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Sharpe , S. Finally—obviously—post-separation adultery remains a ground for divorce. However once a final order of separate maintenance has issued this should probably not be a concern for a client who wishes to date so long as that client does not expose his or her children to those he or she dates.
Can You Date While Separated in SC?
For a client who wishes to date after separating but before divorcing the key is to reduce the risk that the dating does not lead to a credible adultery claim or a claim that this dating was the cause of the breakup of the marriage. Ideally such dating should be confined to public places and there should be no public displays of affection beyond friendly hugs.
One still needs to prove opportunity to commit adultery and an inclination to commit adultery to prove adultery. Limiting the contact to public places and limiting the displays of affection reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of adultery being alleged.
Adultery , Litigation Strategy. In making an award of alimony or separate maintenance and support, the court must consider and give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate … 10 marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties, whether or not used as a basis for a divorce or separate maintenance decree if the misconduct affects or has affected the economic circumstances of the parties, or contributed to the breakup of the marriage, except that no evidence of personal conduct which may otherwise be relevant and material for the purpose of this subsection may be considered with regard to this subsection if the conduct took place subsequent to the happening of the earliest of a the formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement or b entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties.
In making apportionment, the court must give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate to all of the following factors … 2 marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties, whether or not used as a basis for a divorce as such, if the misconduct affects or has affected the economic circumstances of the parties, or contributed to the breakup of the marriage; provided, that no evidence of personal conduct which would otherwise be relevant and material for purposes of this subsection shall be considered with regard to this subsection if such conduct shall have taken place subsequent to the happening of the earliest of: After six months of living separate, Jane meets Bob and wants to start dating him.
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If Jane begins dating Bob before she and John have formally signed a property settlement agreement, or before the Court has issued a final order for separate support and maintenance or approved a marital settlement agreement, Jane will have committed adultery, which would prohibit her from receiving alimony. This is simply not true, as there is no such thing as legal separation in South Carolina.
If you have any questions about legally separating or getting divorced, schedule a consultation with our South Carolina family lawyer today. Do you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of divorce?
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