What is the residence requirement for divorce?

To get a divorce in South Carolina, you have to meet certain requirements and do certain things. The court has set requirements to ensure you can legally divorce in this state. These include a residence requirement, according to the South Carolina Legislature. The point of this requirement is to ensure that either you or your spouse is a resident of the state. It helps to limit people coming to the state just to get divorced or people trying to get a divorce in another state so it is more difficult for the spouse to attend hearings, which could be unfair to that spouse.

The residence requirement says that if you are the one filing for the divorce, you need to have lived in the state for at least one year before you file with the court. If you are not a resident of the state, then your spouse needs to have lived in the state for at least one year before you can file. If you are both living in the state, then you only need to have lived here for at least three months prior.

Do note that this means continuously living in the state. You cannot count it as a year if you lived here for six months, moved away for two months and came back for six months. You must live in the state for 12 months consecutively. It does not matter if you plan to stay in the state. For example, active duty military members may file in the state as long as they meet the residency requirement even though they may move from the state in the future. This information is for education and is not legal advice.