Charleston Property Division Lawyer
Learn More About South Carolina Marital Property & Divorce Laws
If you are getting a divorce, you are likely curious to know which property will go to your spouse and which property you will get to keep. Another question, "Who is responsible for the marital debt?" At Shaw Law Firm, LLC, our Charleston attorney can answer all of your questions and thoroughly explain your rights and responsibilities to marital property, debt, and separate property. We know property division can be difficult and that you need top quality legal representation. Since property division is handled on a case-by-case basis, you need a strong legal advocate protecting your rights.
Equitable division ("equitable apportionment") is a system where the property is split between the spouses in a way that is equitable, or fair considering the couple's unique circumstances.
The division does not have to be split 50/50. When it comes to dividing property, it is almost certainly worth the effort to attempt to work out a settlement agreement. If you are unable to reach a fair agreement with your spouse, or if you there are certain assets that are in dispute, the court will divide the property and debt based on South Carolina's equitable division laws.
Before the court divides property, the property is divided into two categories:
- Marital Property: Property acquired during the marriage, regardless of the name on the title
- Separate Property: Non-marital property that belonged to either spouse before the marriage, a gift during the marriage, or an inheritance
In South Carolina, separate property remains in the hands of the spouse who acquired it before the marriage unless the court determines that the other spouse has acquired a special equity interest in the property or it has been transmuted.
The most common types of property divided in a divorce:
- Family home
All debt incurred during the marriage must be divided as well. Regardless of which party incurred the debt, they may both be responsible for payment.
What the Court Considers
When property is in dispute, the court divides property based on a number of factors, including monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare services, and other unpaid contributions.
Other factors include the following:
- Length of a marriage
- Marital fault
- Income of each spouse
- Amount of separate property
- Any squandering of the couple's assets
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