Under South Carolina law, adultery is defined as intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s spouse. Commonly, we refer to it as “cheating.” In South Carolina, cheating on your spouse can have some serious financial and legal consequences when you decide it is time to file for divorce.
The following are 6 Things You Should Know About Adultery in South Carolina:
- Proving adultery can speed up the divorce process. If the faithful spouse can prove their spouse committed adultery, he or she can file for a fault-based divorce. A fault-based divorce allows you to file immediately for divorce, and then request a final hearing for the divorce judgment to be entered in 90 days. While this may seem like a long time, consider the alternative. When a no-fault divorce situation arises, the parties must remain separate and apart for one year prior to filing for divorce. And, even then, the parties must wait until a hearing is scheduled.
- A cheating spouse is not entitled to alimony. In South Carolina, a spouse who has committed adultery is generally barred from receiving alimony. Although several other factors are also considered, a spouse who cheats does not typically get to collect alimony. There may be an exception if both parties were unfaithful, or the non-cheating spouse “condoned” the affair, which means the faithful spouse knew about the adultery and allowed it. Importantly, adultery can also impact the distribution of assets in a divorce proceeding. Marital fault (i.e. adultery) is considered one of several factors when a court determines how to divide the assets of the marital estate.
- Adultery does not affect child support. Child support is calculated based on certain factors, including the number of children, the number of nights each parent has the children in his or her home, the parties’ incomes, etc. Adultery is never a factor in calculating a child support obligation. However, child custody may be affected if adultery is proven in court, and the court determines that the actions of the cheating spouse were not in the best interest of the children. For example, a judge may find that exposing your children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend while you are still married had a negative impact on the children in certain circumstances. This does not always carry the weight some have hoped but still may be used by the faithful spouse in a court hearing.
- It may still be cheating if you are seeing someone while separated from your spouse. In South Carolina, you are still married until a final divorce decree is signed by a judge. That may be clear to some BUT other states, including North Carolina, no longer consider it adultery if in fact you are separated. South Carolina law dictates that if you date while separated, then your spouse is allowed to make the argument that you are committing adultery, which could have some legal consequences. Importantly, if you are likely to receive alimony, the act of dating or the perception that you are having sexual relations while you are still married, could prevent you from receiving an alimony award.
- There must be adequate proof of adultery. Adequate proof does not necessarily mean pictures or videos of the cheating spouse caught red-handed committing adultery. Instead, the faithful spouse must prove that the cheating spouse had both the inclination and opportunity to commit adultery. Inclination might be shown if the cheating spouse was seen showing affection in public towards their paramour, i.e. holding hands, kissing, hugging. Opportunity might be shown if the cheating spouse and his paramour were in a private place alone for enough time to have the “opportunity” to commit adultery. For example, proving that the cheating spouse and the paramour spent the night together in a hotel room might show adequate inclination and opportunity even if they claim sexual intercourse did not occur.
- The cheating spouse could end up paying the faithful spouse’s attorney fees (and their own). If a faithful spouse is successful in proving to the court that the other spouse committed adultery, the cheating party can be ordered by the judge to pay the faithful spouse’s legal fees and other costs related to the court action.
If you have any questions about how a Family Law Attorney can assist you, please contact Sodoma Law York at 803-366-0001 or fill out the form on the right. We are a family driven family focused law firm. Our attorneys are smart, tenacious, compassionate and ready to assist you with any of your family law needs.
is talking trash talk ( sexual ) considered adultery in SC and also do a person need a financial declaration if getting a separation? ….. asking for a friend
Hi my name is Dominique hatten I had a pre hearing for my divorce with my ex-wife but I found out she got pregnant during our separation and she has me on child support but she was cheating throughout our relationship. I can’t afford a lawyer I was just trying to get some legal advice of what I could do because she was cheating during that relationship and wound up pregnant and now I’m stuck on child support and only getting my kids every other week which I feel is not right at all.
My husband of 5 years, has moved out. He is currently living at a property that he acquired before me. At this time he is not financially contributing. What are my rights. I am unemployed.
My husband and I we’re married in Vermont 2001 we’ve been separated for 6 years because he was unfaithful and he is still with the woman he was unfaithful with in South Carolina. I was never allowed to work so when I had to move back up north with my family I couldn’t do any type of work or anything I’ve been living with my cousin for 4 years.. if I file for divorce is there any way after all this time that I would be able to get alimony?
Can I file for divorce if I cheated during the separation period ?
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Hi I’m trying to find out how to go about the solution of my wife of 10 years cheating and sleeping with other men, back and committing adultery I have proof of it more than one way and more than one time and on top of that we have kids together well I stood by her side faithful and honest and truthful working everyday and coming home while she did nothing and yet to find out that she had been using my tax money and everything for her boyfriend and her do whatever they wanted to and act like she did nothing wrong the entire time but yet I knew no knowledge and continue to be lied to about it all but yet when confronted she swore up and down that she did not and it was all not true or a light or I was making stuff up
Is texting/sexting grounds to file on adultery? He says they have not had any physical contact but have been having an ongoing text and phone relationship.
My wife moved out over two years ago and has been living with a male co-worker. I’m trying to get legal advice upon filing for a divorce.
My husband told me he was serving me for divorce in South Carolina on adultery. All I did was have dinner with someone and kiss them goodbye. Is that person named as a co-respondent? If so, does he have to respond to the complaint and appear at trial, if there is one?
Is My Wife allowed to bring men into the home that we brought together and is there a law in South Carolina that that is illegal but that is illegal
OK this is my situation My Wife accuse me of abusing her when the police came and when they looked at her they said it was nothing look like it was done that she said so the investigator reached out to my wife and after he read over the police report he said it was location there so she lied on me and then she moved out for three weeks now I’m from Philadelphia and I’m homeless and she’s living in our house judge told me to give her $500 a month and she could live in the house for a year while I’m in the street not to mention before we bought the house he owned a trailer that is paid for so when she moved with me she let her granddaughter and her daughter stay in the trailer but she’s been staying there while she left I accuse her of cheating and she say she wasn’t then when I have an alarm system at the house that I had a speaker on and I was telling her that I heard it and she changed everything about my alarm system I didn’t know she was allowed to change anything until after the divorce now she’s bringing men to the home that we lived in what can I do about this or is nothing I could do about
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My wife has been verbally and physically abusing me for years and now she has a boyfriend that moved here from California that she has spent the night with two times already October 7,2022 and October 14,2022 and she still lives in my house does she have a right to half of my house and property and it’s October 15,2022 and we have not filed for divorce yet but do not sleep in the same room due to the abuse are there any laws that keep her from taking half cause I’m disabled and not able to work and I don’t want her here let alone look at her can I keep my house and property and make her leave even if I put her name on the deed as a life estate does she still have rights to half
My husband left our home about a year ago, to take care of his mothers estate when she passed away last year. He said he had to stay and wait for probate court to release all of his mother property. To date, as far I know probate has been finalized, but he has yet to return home and has not helped financially with anything in our home and from phone records he is entertaining other women (some habitually). What can I do to get support and what would be the beat way to file for divorce?
Is there a statue of limitation to file for a divorce on the grounds of adultery?