Property Division Following a Divorce in South Carolina
Division of property is one of the biggest challenges that must be addressed during a divorce. While the process can certainly go smoothly if both individuals are able to divide property themselves in a mutually acceptable manner, divorcing couples often find it difficult to reach an agreement due to emotional strains that often accompany divorce, and require intervention from the courts.
In South Carolina, marital property and assets are divided based on Equitable Distribution, or a fair division between both parties rather that an automatic 50/50 split. “Marital property” includes any asset or debt accumulated during the marriage, except those mentioned below, regardless of who paid for it or whose name the title is in. The Family Court’s function on this issue is to identify all marital assets and debts, value them, and equitably divide them.
Property that cannot be divided is considered non-marital property, which includes:
- Property acquired prior to the marriage
- An inheritance or gift given exclusively to one spouse
- Anything specified as non-marital property in a written contract or prenuptial agreement.
Some of the variables that will assist the judge in determining division of property include:
- Years of marriage
- The ages of the spouses when they married, separated, and divorced
- Wrongdoing on the part of one or both spouses (infidelity, abuse, etc.)
- Material worth of marital property
- Earnings and income potential of each party
- Each spouse’s participation in the acquisition, maintaining, and appreciation of worth of marital property
- Retirement benefits
- Non-marital property of each party
- Child support or alimony payments from a previous marriage
- Liens or debt
- Physical and mental health of each individual
- Awarding of alimony payments.
To learn more about the process of separating property after a divorce, talk to the experienced divorce attorneys at Barth, Ballenger and Lewis law offices today. They will work to ensure that your needs are represented and the judgement is fair.