Frequently Asked Questions

In South Carolina, How Does Adultery Affect Alimony?

A spouse’s adultery is generally an absolute bar to alimony.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-130(A) (“No alimony may be awarded a spouse who commits adultery before the earliest of these two events: (1) the formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement or (2) entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties.”).

However, adultery that has been condonedconditionally forgiven–or is the result of connivance, does not act as a bar to an award of alimony. Recrimination, the defense that both parties are guilty of the same fault-divorce ground, does not remove adultery’s bar to alimony. See, Spires v. Spires, 296 S.C. 422, 373 S.E.2d 698 (Ct. App. 1988).