Divorce in South Carolina – Dividing Assets

Divorce in South Carolina – Dividing Assets A recently divorced woman stares at her wedding band.

How Do You Divide Assets In South Carolina?

Dividing assets in South Carolina occurs after you have decided the marriage is no longer working. If you thought making the decision to terminate the marriage was hard, dividing assets, sometimes accumulated over a lifetime, is sometimes much harder. 

Mutual Agreement

In some cases, the parties to the divorce are able to divide the assets without using arbitration or the court. They are able to divide the property in an amicable fashion.  However, if mutual decisions or arbitration do not work, the court will need to step in and make the decisions for them.

Equitable Distribution When Dividing the Assets

Some states allow the division of property based on a 50-50 distribution. If you live in South Carolina, you will find out the division of property is done by equitable distribution as do most states. This means that it considers a list of factors when dividing the couple’s assets.

Considerations in Equitable Distribution - Dividing assets

To begin with, all property is divided into those that are separate and those that are marital. If the couple is going through an amenable divorce, they are able to divide the assets without outside help. Other factors that are considered are:

  • The reason for the divorce and whether abuse was involved
  • The education level of both parties
  • The employability of both parties
  • The amount of money each party spends
  • The amount of money each party earns
  • The age of both parties
  • The health of both
  • The amount of money each party needs
  • The standard of living the couple had during their marriage
  • How both parties contributed to the education, earning level and training of the other
  • Medical and education costs for children and the other spouse
  • The way in which the distribution will affect taxes

Are Certain Assets Not Part of Equitable Distribution?

There are certain assets that are not part of equitable distribution. For instance, separate property is an asset that belongs to only one spouse. This includes monies that were inherited by one spouse before and after the marriage. It can also be a gift to one party after the marriage. This separate asset may be considered marital if the spouses made it joint property during their marriage.

Marital Property in Equitable Distribution - Dividing Assets

Marital property is that which is acquired during the marriage. However, it can also be a property that was acquired separately before the marriage but increased in value due to joint marital efforts. 

What Happens When a Prenuptial Agreement Exists?

When a prenuptial agreement exists, the division of property follows different rules. It is no longer divided as community property or by equitable distribution. Instead, it is divided according to the language of the agreement. 

When the Court Decides an Equitable Distribution Case

The court will try to divide the property fairly. The judge will take into account the factors listed above. In addition, he or she will decide on separate bank accounts. If the funds were acquired throughout the marriage, then they will be distributed equitably. 

How Your Divorce Attorney Can Help

Your divorce lawyer will help by trying to add a measure of civility to the proceedings, assuming it is absent. Sometimes, they will help their client go through a massive number of assets that need to be divided.

South Carolina Family Law - Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach

If you are entering into a divorce, you need the legal insight of an experienced divorce lawyer. Call the Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers at (843) 232-0944 to schedule a free case review. We offer compassionate service to all clients going through a divorce. You can also reach us online.


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