Reconciliation Conferences in South Carolina Divorce Cases

What is a Reconciliation Conference in a SC Divorce Case?
By M. J. Goodwin

If not properly warned ahead of time, litigants are often caught off guard by the following South Carolina Law:

SECTION 20-3-90. Attempt at reconciliation.

In all cases referred to a master or special referee, such master or special referee shall, except in default cases, summon the party or parties within the jurisdiction of the court before him and shall in all cases make an earnest effort to bring about a reconciliation between the parties if they appear before him. No judgment of divorce shall be granted in such case unless the master or special referee to whom such cause may have been referred shall certify in his report or, if the cause has not been referred, unless the trial judge shall state in the decree that he has attempted to reconcile the parties to such action and that such efforts were unavailing.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 20-110; 1952 Code Section 20-110; 1949 (46) 216; 1950 (46) 2363.

This is the law that provides for what is commonly called a reconciliation conference. Prior to hearing testimony for a divorce, the Family Court Judge must ask the parties if there is anything he or she can do to save, or reconcile, the marriage. In 26 years of practicing law, I am aware of only two couples who have reconciled immediately prior to their actual divorce hearing. Nevertheless, the Judge is required to ask. As long as one party testifies that the marriage is not salvageable, the divorce will be granted provided there is sufficient evidence and corroboration.

If you need a divorce in Anderson, South Carolina, contact me by email at or call 864-375-0909.



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