Legal Separation Attorney in South Carolina
Legal separation is a way for couples to end their relationship and settle the issues normally resolved in divorce, while remaining legally married. South Carolina does not use the term “legal separation” but refers to its equivalent as an order of separate maintenance and support. Each couple and situation is unique. Whether you are seeking separation in preparation for divorce or intend to stay married indefinitely, attorney J. Darrell Beckham will take the time to listen to your needs, goals and concerns, answer your questions, and advise you on the best course of action.
Confusion about Living Separately
If you are seeking a no fault divorce, you and your spouse must live apart and separately for at least one year before filing. You actually have to be in separate residences during this time. Living in different parts of the same house does not count. You do not need an order of separate maintenance and support, or any other type of order or court document for that matter, to establish that you are living separately. The year simply begins when one of you moves out.
Likewise, and order of separate maintenance and support does not constitute living separately for the purposes of no fault divorce grounds. You and your spouse can get the order, and if you decided to try and reconcile, and live together or spend the night together in the process the year of living separately starts over regardless of the order.
However, you do not need to live separately for a year to enter your separation agreement. This allows you to work out the terms of the divorce, or make substantial progress toward resolving the issues you will resolve in divorce, before the year is up so that you can get through the finalization of your divorce more quickly when you are eligible.
Reasons for Choosing Separation
Many couples choose separation with no intention of divorcing. You do not have to divorce after an order of separate maintenance and support, nor do you have to reconcile. You can simply remain separated while still legally married. Some of the reasons separated couples choose to remain married include:
- Religious beliefs
- Moral beliefs
- Social Security benefits
- Military benefits
- Maintaining coverage under a spouse’s health insurance plan
- Tax benefits
- Inheritance rights
To learn more about the pros and cons of legal separation in South Carolina, please call the Law Office of J. Darrell Beckham, LLC, at 803-364-9111 or contact us online right away to schedule your consultation.