South Carolina Divorce Guide

Annulment

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An annulment in South Carolina is the court’s declaration that the marriage never existed or is void. This is different than a divorce (dissolution) which ends a marriage. The annulment process in SC can be challenging because annulments are more difficult to get. The difficulty for annulments is that one must prove a ground for annulment sufficient to convince a judge. Grounds for a SC annulment include:

  • Fraud – One party perpetrated fraud on the other in convincing the other to marry
  • Duress – Causing duress or threatening someone into marriage
  • Mental Illness – A mentally incapacitated person cannot enter into a marital contract
  • Underage Marriage – Persons marrying under the legal age is prohibited
  • Impotency – Unable to consummate the marriage
  • STD’s – Passing to your partner a venereal disease
Filing for an annulment

You must file a Complaint for Annulment in the circuit family court in the county where your spouse lives. If you are filing, you must have resided in this state for at least one year. You will include in the complaint the particulars about your marriage (date of marriage, children if any, and the legal ground you base your request on). If there are children from the marriage, and you want the court to decide child support, child custody, alimony, visitation or division of property, you must request so in your complaint.

You must serve your spouse (that is, legally notify him or her). The family court will hold a hearing at which time you must prove the legal grounds you have alleged. If you successfully convince the judge, an annulment will be issued.

[Code of Laws for South Carolina – Sections 20-1-10, 90, 530, 15, 80]

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