Amendment aims to shorten "cooling off" period in South Carolina divorces

An amendment being proposed in South Carolina would allow couples to divorce after 150 days of separation, instead of one year.

The measure would only apply to no-fault divorce, meaning neither party has committed any legal wrongdoing in the marriage.

"It's very difficult to get closure. It's very difficult to explain to children why two years later, you're still going to court," said divorce attorney Bill Hopkins.

Hopkins added that the number one complaint he has from clients is the length of time it takes to get a divorce.

"Divorce is certainly a life changing and stressful thing and when you have it open and lingering and pending for this period of time, it's stressful on the children, stressful on the families," Hopkins explained.

Others says that one year period is exactly what couples need for any chance of reconciliation.

"I think people need more time to think about it, and divorce is too easy in this county. I mean, you can marry somebody and a year later you decide you want to divorce them. You should have thought about that before you got married," said Horry County resident Ida Lake.

Conway resident Diahann Saddler echoes that concern. "I think you need that time to reconsider and hopefully get a mediator involved and keep your marriage together."

The proposed amendment still has a long way to go. If it passes the Senate, it would still have to be approved by voters.

Hopkins said the bill has been proposed before, but it didn't pass.

Divorce was illegal in South Carolina until 1949, when it became one of the last states in the U.S. to allow it.