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      Measure would shorten separation for SC divorce

      <font size="2">A proposed amendment to the South Carolina constitution would allow couples to divorce after 150 days of separation, rather than one year.</font>

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A proposed amendment to the South Carolina constitution would allow couples to divorce after 150 days of separation, rather than one year.

      The House Judiciary Committee voted 12-11 Tuesday to advance a measure asking voters whether to shorten the required separation for a no-fault divorce to five months.

      Opponents argued couples may reconcile during that year. But House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister says forcing couples to remain married beyond when they can get a legal settlement only adds contention and can make it more difficult on children.

      House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford agreed, adding the current law gives people incentive to lie to get a quicker divorce. Residents can get a divorce in 90 days on the grounds of adultery, desertion, physical abuse or habitual drunkenness.