If You’re Going Through Divorce in South Carolina We Can Help With Division of Assets
Any case for divorce in South Carolina will include division of assets between the spouses. Absent an agreement, the court will divide the marital property using a method of “equitable apportionment or division.” This is a concept of fairness that takes into account many factors, but the division of property does not have to be exactly equal to be ‘equitable’ under this standard.
The Division of Marital Property
The only property to be divided in a divorce in South Carolina is marital property. Marital property is defined as property either acquired during the marriage, or in some cases property shared and used for the benefit of the marriage. All other property is classified as separate property, is not subject to division, and will revert to the original owning spouse. Debts are divided according to this definition as well.
There are many factors that influence the division of marital property and debts to achieve an equitable result including:
- Contributions to the marital property, both monetary and non-monetary;
- Length of the marriage and ages of the spouses;
- Other resources such as separate property, retirement benefits and employment;
- Any award of alimony to one spouse; and
- Amount of liens or debts against the property.
Types of Marital Property
The types of marital property commonly divided are real and personal property such as homes, land, vehicles, investment accounts, income earned by either spouse, financial accounts, and employment benefits. Marital debts accrued may include mortgages, car and consumer loans and credit card balances, even if they were accumulated by one spouse. If one spouse was financially irresponsible during the marriage, then the resulting debts may have to be divided between both spouses upon divorce.
In contrast, gifts or inheritances to one spouse during the marriage are not marital property, and will be considered separate property in the divorce. In the end, the court will decide both the classification of property and the equitable distribution between the spouses, which might include placing property on the market for sale. In some cases, this may not be satisfactory to either party.
For this reason, division of property in a divorce should be settled, if possible, to avoid the cost of a trial and a court-ordered division. If you are part of a divorce and wish to have expert legal advice on marital property division, you can rely on Dell Family Law to help you determine if an agreement is possible with your spouse.
We will help you decide on a fair division, and if your spouse cannot agree, we will represent your interests in court to reach an equitable outcome. Please contact us for a consultation on division of property in a divorce in South Carolina.