In addition to the emotional toll that results from the breakup of a marriage, there are practical aspects to consider as well. While you may have spent years working together to build a successful life while achieving a level of financial success, you could find yourself now facing serious losses involving your home, personal property, or financial accounts. When going through a separation or divorce in South Carolina, it is important to understand the types of property that will be divided between you and your spouse, as well as the rules the court uses to determine what is fair in your situation
Equitable Division of Marital Property
In community property states, property belonging to the couple is split evenly between the spouses. In South Carolina, the courts follow the rules of equitable division instead, which means each spouse gets a fair, but not necessarily equal, share. Under Section 20-3-620 of the SC Code of Laws, factors the court considers in making this decision include the following:
The length of the marriage and the age of the spouses
Their emotional and physical health
Their current earnings of the spouses
Any educational or training needs to reach their full earning capacity
The existence of any retirement benefits
Any custody arrangements concerning children of the marriage
It is important to note that while fault grounds, such as adultery or habitual drunkenness, are not required to get a divorce in South Carolina, the bad behavior of one of the spouses may be considered by the court in decisions on property settlements.
Marital Versus Nonmarital Property
One of the South Carolina court forms each spouse is required to fill out when filing for divorce is a financial declaration, which lists all income, property, assets, and liabilities. This is then divided into two categories: marital and non-marital property. Non-marital property is that which was earned or accumulated prior to the marriage, as well as any family gifts or inheritances. Marital property is that which was purchased, earned, or acquired during the marriage, and includes the following:
Homes, land, and other types of real estate
Cars, boats, motorcycles, and other types of vehicles
Furniture and household items
Gifts given to each other during the marriage, such as jewelry or furs
Antiques and collectible items
Interests in businesses or partnerships
Retirement benefits, pension funds, and insurance plans
Stocks, annuities, and other financial accounts
Uncovering all marital assets, including those your spouse may attempt to hide, is important to help ensure you get the amount you are entitled to in your divorce property settlement.
Our South Carolina Divorce Attorneys Can Help
If you are going through a separation or are contemplating a divorce, contact our experienced South Carolina divorce attorneys today. At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we provide the professional legal representation you need to get the property settlement you deserve. Our knowledgeable staff works hard on your behalf, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and protecting your rights each step of the way.