One of the questions we are asked most often is “What do I have to prove to get a divorce from my spouse on the ground of adultery?” Our Court of Appeals recently issued a decision, Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, which included a great discussion about the required proof of adultery in South Carolina.
As more fully discussed in a prior blog post, in order to get a divorce on the ground of adultery in South Carolina, two elements must be proved: (1) romantic inclination and (2) opportunity for one's spouse to commit adultery. The elements must be proven by evidence that is clear, positive, and sufficiently definite to identify the time and place of the offense.
In Mick-Scaggs, the Court of Appeals said that while corroboration is typically required in divorce actions, that rule may be relaxed when it is evident that collusion does not exist between the parties. In this case, the Court found that the contested nature of the divorce was sufficient evidence that there was no collusion between Ms. Mick-Scaggs and Mr. Scaggs.
The Court also referenced its prior decision in 1990 in Perry v. Perry, in which it held that circumstantial evidence over an extended period of time indicating a spouse's infidelity was sufficient to prove that spouse was disposed to commit adultery because the adultery could be inferred from the circumstances.
You can read the entire Court of Appeals decision in Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs by clicking here.