No divorce from the bonds of matrimony shall be granted except upon one or more of the following grounds, to wit: (1) adultery; (2) desertion for a period of one year; (3) physical cruelty; (4) habitual drunkenness; provided, that this ground shall be construed to include habitual drunkenness caused by the use of any narcotic drug; or (5) on the application of either party if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year.A plea of res judicata or of recrimination with respect to any other provision of this section shall not be a bar to either party obtaining a divorce on this ground. If it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court that the parties to any divorce proceeding colluded or that the act complained of was done with the knowledge or assent of the plaintiff for the purpose of obtaining a divorce the court shall not grant such divorce.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-101; 1952 Code Section 20-101; 1949 (46) 216; 1952 (47) 2142; 1969 (56) 172; 1979 Act No. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-102; 1952 Code Section 20-102; 1949 (46) 216. In order to institute an action for divorce from the bonds of matrimony the plaintiff must have resided in this State at least one year prior to the commencement of the action or, if the plaintiff is a nonresident, the defendant must have so resided in this State for this period; provided, that when both parties are residents of the State when the action is commenced, the plaintiff must have resided in this State only three months prior to commencement of the action.The terms 'residents' or 'resided' as used in this section as it applies to a plaintiff or defendant stationed in this State on active duty military service means a continuous presence in this State for the period required regardless of intent to permanently remain in South Carolina. Any married person shall, for the purpose of maintaining or defending an action for divorce and the settlement of property rights arising thereunder, be deemed of age.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-103; 1952 Code Section 20-103; 1949 (46) 216; 1951 (47) 539; 1975 (59) 310; 1987 Act No. HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-104; 1952 Code Section 20-104; 1949 (46) 216. Actions for divorce from the bonds of matrimony shall, except as otherwise provided, be only in the equity jurisdiction of the court of common pleas.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-105; 1952 Code Section 20-105; 1949 (46) 216. Actions for divorce from the bonds of matrimony or for separate support and maintenance must be tried in the county (a) in which the defendant resides at the time of the commencement of the action, (b) in which the plaintiff resides if the defendant is a nonresident or after due diligence cannot be found, or (c) in which the parties last resided together as husband and wife unless the plaintiff is a nonresident, in which case it must be brought in the county in which the defendant resides. When the person on whom the service of the summons in an action for divorce from the bonds of matrimony is to be made cannot, after due diligence, be found within the State and that fact appears to the satisfaction of the court, or judge thereof, the clerk of the court of common pleas, the master or the probate judge of the county in which the cause is pending and it in like manner appears that a cause of action exists against the defendant in respect to whom the service is to be made, such court, judge, clerk, master or judge of probate may grant an order that the service be made by the publication of the summons in the manner and with the effect provided in Sections 15-9-710 to 15-9-740.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-106; 1952 Code Section 20-106; 1949 (46) 216; 1951 (47) 539; 1985 Act No. In lieu of publication of summons as provided in Sections 15-9-710 to 15-9-740 the plaintiff may cause such process to be served personally upon any nonresident and the service so made shall be sufficient.
No reference shall be had before two months after the filing of the complaint in the office of the Clerk of Court, nor shall a final decree be granted before three months after such filing.Provided, however, that when the plaintiff seeks a divorce on the grounds of desertion or separation for one year, the hearing may be held and the decree issued after the responsive pleadings have been filed or after the respondent has been adjudged to be in default whichever occurs sooner. In all cases referred to a master or special referee, such master or special referee shall, except in default cases, summon the party or parties within the jurisdiction of the court before him and shall in all cases make an earnest effort to bring about a reconciliation between the parties if they appear before him.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-108; 1952 Code Section 20-108; 1949 (46) 216; 1979 Act No. No judgment of divorce shall be granted in such case unless the master or special referee to whom such cause may have been referred shall certify in his report or, if the cause has not been referred, unless the trial judge shall state in the decree that he has attempted to reconcile the parties to such action and that such efforts were unavailing.HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-110; 1952 Code Section 20-110; 1949 (46) 216; 1950 (46) 2363.
Attempt at reconciliation when one party is in armed forces overseas.
When either of the parties is a member of the armed forces and is serving without the continental limits of the United States, an affidavit by such party, taken before any officer of the armed forces authorized to administer an oath, to the effect that, so far as he is concerned, a reconciliation is impossible shall be accepted by the court in lieu of the certification that an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the parties has been made.