Experienced Spartanburg Attorneys Helping with Division of Property in South Carolina Divorce Cases
One of the biggest decisions in a divorce is how to divide the marital property. Who gets the house? How are possessions divided? Even in an amicable divorce, figuring out the property settlement can be a daunting task. If the parties cannot agree on how marital property (and debt) should be divided, the task falls to the family court judge. The family law attorneys at Cate & Brough Law Firm in Spartanburg can help you through this process by providing sound legal advice and professional representation that protects your rights and helps ensure a fair division of property under South Carolina divorce law.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property under South Carolina Law
South Carolina law requires an equitable apportionment of marital property in a divorce. Marital property is basically any property which was acquired during the marriage except for property acquired specifically by one spouse alone through gift or inheritance and certain other means, but even this separate property may become marital property if it is treated as such.
Note that the law requires an “equitable” apportionment but not an “equal” apportionment. State statutes provide a long list of factors the court is to look at in determining what will make an equitable, or fair division of property:
- Duration of the marriage
- Ages of the parties at the time of marriage
- Ages of the parties at the time of divorce
- Marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties
- Value of the property
- Contribution each spouse made to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation or depreciation in value of the property
- Income and earning potential of each spouse
- Health and well-being of each spouse
- The need for either spouse to acquire additional job training or education
- The nonmarital property each party has
- Any vested retirement benefits of either spouse
- Whether or not an award of alimony is being made
- Whether award of the family home is important to the child custody arrangement
- The tax consequences of the property division
- Whether either spouse has any support obligations from a prior marriage
- The marital and non-marital debts of either or both spouses
- Other factors the court finds relevant
You can easily see that the judge will have a lot of discretion in deciding how to divide the marital property. Note also that even in a no-fault divorce, any misconduct or fault which can be proven can impact the division of property. It is very important to be well-represented by experienced South Carolina divorce lawyers in the property division to make sure you are not unfairly taken advantage of. At Cate & Brough Law Firm, we work to make sure that every piece of property is located, correctly identified as marital or nonmarital property, and valued appropriately. Our attorneys can help with tracing hidden assets, performing complex business valuations, and other complicated situations, such as when one spouse is self-employed or has complex assets such as stock options and profit sharing.
Call Today for Advice and Assistance with South Carolina Division of Property Issues
Call Cate & Brough Law Firm at (864) 585-4226 to talk about the division of property in your divorce, or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable and experienced South Carolina family law attorney at our Spartanburg office.