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Bill Introduces Two New Fault Grounds

A new bill has been introduced in the South Carolina House of Representatives to expand the fault grounds available for divorce. Currently, the available fault grounds include physical cruelty, adultery, habitual drunkenness, and desertion, and no-fault divorces are available on the basis of one year’s continuous separation. This new bill seeks to add two new fault grounds: (1) willful mistreatment that could destroy mental or physical well-being, which covers abuse that is not physical in nature; and (2) illegal or illicit drug use. If this bill passes, the result will be that there are two new ways to get a divorce on fault grounds in South Carolina. A divorce on a fault ground can take as little as three months, compared with a one year’s continuous separation no-fault divorce, which takes just over a year at minimum. So, the passage of this bill would mean significantly faster divorces for many who do not meet the criteria for the current fault grounds, but may for the newly suggested fault grounds.

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