Wife had to separate from husband before seeking support

A woman can’t go to court and seek financial support from her husband if she’s still living with him, the South Carolina Supreme Court decided recently.

The wife claimed she could no longer stand to live with her husband because of his abusive conduct and his total control of their finances. Nonetheless, she didn’t move out of their home.

Although there’s no law in South Carolina that specifically says a spouse has to move out in order to claim financial support prior to a divorce, the court said such a requirement made sense.

Otherwise, family courts could be flooded with claims for support after couples had minor quarrels or disputes, the court said. Requiring a spouse to move out ensures that judges don’t intervene in marital relationships unless the grounds for the complaint are serious enough to warrant leaving the home.

Of course, as always, the law may vary from state to state, and often depends on a spouse’s specific circumstances.