Fort Mill Legal Separation Attorney

South Carolina does not recognize legal separation in its statutes. Instead, the courts will issue an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support. Navigating the state’s separation laws might require help from a legal separation attorney if your spouse refuses to leave your house, if you don’t understand your rights, if you need help coming to an agreeable settlement, or if your spouse files an action against you.

Contact David W. Martin Attorney at Law, LLC, for a legal consultation in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Our legal separation lawyer has the skill and experience to help you.

What is Legal Separation in South Carolina?

In most other states, a spouse can file for legal separation to split assets, assign child custody, and otherwise live separately without an official divorce. In South Carolina, the courts do not recognize legal separation. Instead, the courts will settle specific details of a split with an official order until the couple resolves the case at a trial or final hearing. The Order of Separate Maintenance and Support is temporary. To receive one, the couple must do the following:

  1. Live separate and apart. You and your spouse cannot live in the same residence if you’re separating for no-fault reasons. If your spouse refuses to leave the home, you may request a court order to order him or her out.
  2. Live together but establish grounds for a fault-based divorce. In a divorce based on adultery, desertion, addiction, or cruelty, one can file for separation even while living with a spouse. The filing person will need to prove fault grounds.
  3. File for the order. One spouse must file a request for an official Order of Separation from Fort Mill family courts. The courts will review the case, grant or deny the order, and settle issues during the separation period.

An Order of Separate Maintenance and Support will settle points of contention between you and your spouse, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support. A couple will resolve these issues either with a mutual settlement agreement or through a trial and court order. The temporary separation order will settle these matters until a final hearing or trial finalizes a divorce.

Do You Need a Legal Separation Attorney?

Getting an Order of Separate Maintenance and Support is not a requirement prior to getting a divorce in the state of South Carolina. It can, however, give you space, freedom, and rights you need prior to an official divorce. After a year of living separately from your spouse (or upon proving a fault-based reason for the split), you can file for divorce. An Order of Separation will not deal with all the issues of a dissolution of marriage. Instead, it will only settle issues of child custody and support. The couple will need to file divorce papers after one year of separation to settle other matters.

Contact our experienced Fort Mill legal separation attorney if you think legal separation is the right choice for you and your spouse. Our lawyer can further explain South Carolina’s unique legal separation laws and break down what you need to do to receive an official order from a judge. We’ll also help you stand up for your rights as an ex-spouse and/or parent during a separation or divorce case. We can file the court documents on your behalf and expedite the legal process. Contact us today. Call (803) 577-5590 or fill out a contact form now.


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(803) 577-5590


111 Clebourne Street, Suite 200-E, Fort Mill, SC 29715

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