Is Abandonment Grounds for a Divorce?

Is Abandonment Grounds for a Divorce?

For many individuals, getting divorced is a heart-breaking life-event. It is not uncommon for one of the spouses to be reluctant to end the marriage. One spouse may want out of the marriage though the other spouse may not want to end things. Sometimes one spouse leaves the other, effectively abandoning the marriage. We are often asked in situations where one spouse deserts the marriage, is abandonment grounds for a divorce?

At-Fault Grounds for Divorce in South Carolina

In the Palmetto State, there are four at-fault reasons permitting a spouse to seek a divorce. An at-fault divorce means that there is a reason that the marriage has fallen apart that is codified in the South Carolina statutes. The four at-fault grounds for divorce include:

  • A spouse has committed adultery, which has fractured trust in the marriage
  • One of the spouses has a routine or habitual drug or alcohol problem that is severely impacting the marriage
  • Either spouse has engaged in physical abuse against the other, which has torn the marriage apart
  • One of the spouses has deserted the other spouse, and thus the marriage, for a period of more than one year. This is considered spousal abandonment.

What is Abandonment in a Divorce?

When a spouse effectively deserts his or her marriage, it leaves the abandoned spouse with no marriage at all. Anyone who is in a marriage who has been deserted by their spouse may seek a divorce based on abandonment in order to terminate their marital ties to the spouse that has deserted them.

Abandonment, Divorce and the Military

Desertion for more than one year is not a common grounds for divorce among civilians. But sometimes this is the grounds for an at-fault military divorce, where one of the spouses is a military service person who has been stationed overseas for a long time.

Under federal law, military personnel are provided additional protection under the law when it comes to getting divorced. If a non-military member spouse wants to file for divorce, the divorce proceeding can be delayed by the spouse who is a military service person until after he or she returns from service overseas. The purpose of this law is to protect military service men and women from being deprived of their day in court when it comes to their divorce. A default judgement against the military service member cannot be entered if the military service member refuses service and delays the divorce proceeding until they return to the United States.

Get Help With Your SC Divorce

Abandonment is not a typical grounds for an at-fault divorce, but it is valid in South Carolina. If you need to file for divorce, or if your spouse has filed divorce papers, you should contact an experienced SC divorce lawyer right away. The knowledgeable Mount Pleasant family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC are ready to help you with your at-fault or military divorce. Contact us today for a free consultation.