Fault Divorce: “Adultery” as a Ground for Divorce

Fault Divorce: “Adultery” as a Ground for Divorce

Divorce and the consequences of ending a marriage can create considerable friction and tension between not only the spouses but also family members and friends. When considering a divorce, the spouses may choose between two different types of grounds for divorce: fault divorce or no-fault divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

No-fault divorce was only recently included in the South Carolina’s Code of Laws. Traditionally, couples were required to demonstrate that there was misconduct between or by one or both spouses. No-fault divorce has provided couples the opportunity to divorce without assigning blame and to permit changing affections to be reason enough to end an unhappy marriage. No-fault divorce, however, requires that the couple live separately and apart without any cohabitation or reconciliation for at least a year. This requirement provides that a couple who decides to give it “another shot” six months after their separation, but who break up days later, must start their separation over again for another one-year period.

Fault Divorce

Fault divorce has been the traditional choice for divorcing spouses. Divorce requires spouses to provide evidence that the marriage ended due to the fault of one or both of the spouses. Currently, fault divorce is still elected, especially for spouses who would like to divorce their spouse without waiting for the one-year separation time period. Spouses attempting to put forward a fault ground for divorce must provide clear and convincing evidence to show that the spouse is responsible for misconduct during the marriage and therefore, fault divorce

The following are considered grounds for a fault divorce in South Carolina:

  • Adultery;
  • Abandonment for one year or more;
  • Physical cruelty; and
  • Habitual drunkenness due to the use of any narcotic drug.


In our day and age, adultery is a very common ground for divorce. For one spouse to be able to utilize “adultery” as a ground for granting a divorce, he or she would have to prove that there was sexual intercourse between his/her spouse and a third party. In South Carolina, it is irrelevant whether the illicit activity occurred between the spouse and the member of the same or opposite gender.

Evidence: Direct or Circumstantial

Adultery can be proven by one spouse through direct or even circumstantial evidence proving that the other spouse had the tendency and opportunity to commit adultery. The evidence established by a preponderance of the evidence must demonstrate the time and place in which the illicit activity allegedly occurred.

Defenses to a Charge of Adultery

Using adultery as a ground for divorce has its limitations and the allegedly cheating spouse may counter the ground for divorce through a few different defenses.

  • Condonation is when one spouse, implicitly or expressly, forgives another spouse for any past or present misconduct. By forgiving the misconduct of one spouse, the other spouse promises to not repeat the marital violation in exchange. A spouse who has forgiven the bad acts of their spouse cannot later invoke them as a ground for divorce. He/she, however, may invoke it as a ground for divorce if there is subsequent misconduct.
  • Recrimination is another defense to a claim of adultery. If both spouses have partaken in the same or similar misconduct, then they may not bring the charge of misconduct against each other. For example, if both spouses have cheated, the charge of adultery cannot be used by one spouse against another.
  • Connivance is where one spouse condoned, encouraged, or aided the other spouse in engaging in the misconduct. A spouse who encourages his/her spouse to have sexual relations with a third person may not later use the incident as part of the charge of adultery.
  • Collusion is the final defense to adultery. This is where the parties come to an agreement that one spouse commits adultery so as to gain a divorce.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area

Fault and no-fault divorce can be extremely complex issues. It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney like the attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC before initiating a divorce from your spouse. Contact the Klok Law Firm LLC today for an initial and confidential consultation.

  • Football Solutions UEFA Europa League - Rosenborg-Cork - Line-ups
    Posted at 19:51h, 10 November

    Gary Neville has piled the pressure on Chelsea with a title warning: we are right behind you. United’s last gasp win over rivals City was followed by the Blues’ defeat at Spurs. We’re behind you! Manchester United skipper Gary Neville fires title warning to under pressure leaders Chelsea

  • Jonathon Macke
    Posted at 05:06h, 25 November

    You really make it appear really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really something which I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me. I am having a look forward in your subsequent put up, I will try to get the cling of it!

  • Jeannie Distad
    Posted at 06:47h, 15 February

    With thanks! Valuable information!

  • Get Traffic
    Posted at 08:27h, 05 March

    If you’re looking for an email list, head on to Emails 4 Less. Very cheap email packages and high delivery rate. http://bit.ly/emails4less

  • Lynell Gevorkian
    Posted at 16:12h, 06 March

    Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good blog!

  • India Andaman Islands
    Posted at 06:37h, 14 March

    I really like and appreciate your article.Thanks Again. Great.

  • Darwin Brixner
    Posted at 22:16h, 18 March

    halloween posters to distillery advertisement – Chalkboards make it all more interesting, more believable and (why not) cooler. But hiring a chaklboard designer is expensive.

  • Sol Teabo
    Posted at 02:27h, 21 March
  • Birkenstock Sandals UK
    Posted at 01:06h, 31 March

    hfcfwtkrgxo,Quality blog, keep up the good work. You may check our website also!

  • Yeezy 350
    Posted at 02:00h, 01 April

    axkuaheqqqw,Are you searching for top class Escort service in Noida and want to enjoy with them, hire sexy girls from top Greater Noida escort service and enjoy full night.

  • Nike Vapormax Plus
    Posted at 17:53h, 03 April

    fywztffbya,Quality blog, keep up the good work. You may check our website also!

  • site
    Posted at 19:54h, 03 April

    Very neat blog.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  • Tasmania Holidays
    Posted at 06:31h, 05 April

    Very informative article post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  • Nike Air Max 270
    Posted at 14:27h, 06 April

    hvxooxvnlmo,A very good informative article. I’ve bookmarked your website and will be checking back in future!

  • Nike Air Zoom
    Posted at 22:54h, 06 April

    lqbgmjjtb,Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog. I am so happy found this informative blog.

  • Cheap NFL Jerseys
    Posted at 13:48h, 10 April

    doitlgdppd,Thanks for sharing this recipe with us!!

  • jordan 11 concord 2018
    Posted at 09:48h, 13 April

    krwlggnvpyh,Waw! Its really great and wonderful ever i found. Thank you for sharing this info.

  • Yeezy
    Posted at 10:44h, 16 April

    emwexiikr Yeezy Boost 350,If you want a hassle free movies downloading then you must need an app like showbox which may provide best ever user friendly interface.

  • Wonda Domine
    Posted at 21:18h, 20 April

    Learn how to make money. 100 legit method! http://bit.ly/2GypqBt

  • inventhelp number
    Posted at 04:29h, 21 April

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  • invention
    Posted at 14:12h, 21 April

    Very neat blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  • InventHelp Number
    Posted at 04:23h, 22 April

    Fantastic post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  • Balenciaga UK
    Posted at 07:03h, 22 April

    Jim O’Neill, the father of BRIC and former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said at a forum on the shores of Lake Como near Milan on Friday,

Post A Comment