Division of property »
North Charleston Divorce Lawyer - Division of Property
North Charleston divorce lawyer Tim Ameyknows that there is a lot at stake in in every divorce. On unavoidable question is how property is going to be divided. In SC, the court divides marital property—the assets and debts you jointly acquired and owned during your marriage—equitably when you divorce. Equitable distribution means fair, not necessarily equal, distribution. Equitable distribution of marital property typically requires a four-step process.
To start, there must be a determination of what property is to be divided between the parties. Under South Carolina law, marital property is all real and personal property (as well as debts) acquired during the marriage and owned at the date of filing or commencement of the marital litigation, regardless of how legal title is held.
Once the marital property is determined,a valuation must be given to those assets and debts which quality. From there, it must be further determined what portion each spouse is entitled to receive. In many cases, the marital property is split 50/50. But that is not always true, depending on the factors outlined below.
Naturally, once those proper proportions have been assigned, the question becomes one of who gets what? In shaping how this question is answered, the advocacy of North Charleston divorce attorney Tim Amey can help make sure the assessments and divisions are accurate and fair. Rare is it ever the case that you are dealing with round numbers fittingeasily into the respective assignments of proportion. But by way of example, if the wife gets the vehicle worth approximately $18,000.00, in return the husband might get a savings account worth approximately the same amount.
Some property, however, is considered separate and not marital property, including property acquired:
- Prior to your marriage
- Separately during the marriage until the point of separation
- Through gift or inheritance
- In exchange for non-marital property
- Due to an increase in value of any non-marital property
When a Judge does go through the four-stage process of dividing marital property here are many of the factors that come into consideration:
- Duration of the marriage, the age of each spouse at the time of the marriage and at the time of divorce
- Any marital misconduct or fault
- Value of marital property
- The respective contributions of each spouse to the property value
- Each spouse's income and earning potential
- Need for additional training or education
- The physical and mental health of both parties
- Non-marital property of each spouse
- Existence or nonexistence of vested retirement benefits for each spouse
- Whether separate maintenance or alimony has been awarded
- Family home
- Support obligations from a prior marriage
- Liens and other encumbrances on the marital property
- Child custody arrangements and obligations
- Tax consequences