South Carolina is one of eight states left in the country that still allows for a judge to grant periodic permanent alimony. After a divorce, a spouse is required to pay weekly or monthly checks to their ex-spouse until:
- A spouse dies
- A spouse remarries
- A spouse cohabits with a romantic interest for at least 90 days
A SC Alimony Reform Group is working to change state law to allow for more fixed or limited alimony.
“Permanent alimony is something that should not exist, simply because marriage failed.”Founder, Wyman Oxner said. “A lot of times the ex spouse never works again and they are ready to retire while the other person is sweating on blood working two jobs trying to exist.”
The group has been trying to get a bill passed since 2011, Senator Gerald Malloy, District 29 blocked the bill in May saying it had anti marriage properties.
“The reason I use the connotation “second wives club” is because generally speaking these individuals go out and marry again,and then they go out and create these other households and the financial burden becomes a little bit tougher on them.” Malloy said.
Local family law attorney, Sara Benson says a judge will consider multiple elements before awarding permanent alimony.
“I think what’s great about the South Carolina family court system is that ultimately it’s a court of equity so the judges have a lot of digression on who they award alimony to, whether they do it or not.” Benson said. “They take a lot of factors into consideration, like the duration of the marriage, who is supporting who, the health and the age of the people.”