Division of Assets in Divorce
In most cases, you don’t go into a marriage expecting to divide all property evenly, outside of a prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, that’s why dividing assets in a divorce may be tricky to navigate.
Divorce laws vary per state and have varied intricacies in applying the law. As such, it is best to partner with a lawyer from Sarah Henry Law who’s knowledgeable of the area you reside in. Look for a lawyer well-versed in South Carolina state laws. Your lawyer can review these key topics and help you get the fair share of assets you’re due.
Equitable distribution means couples are obliged to split assets fairly among both parties. For divorces wherein both individuals are similar in circumstances, this may result in an even split. But for couples with differing circumstances, equitable distribution may skew towards one party.
South Carolina adopts the equitable distribution rule to focus on fairness for both parties. Unfortunately, if you’re not prepared to present your case for a larger share, you may be on the losing end of an equitable distribution of assets. Fairness is also relative. An experienced divorce lawyer can protect you from being taken advantage of at the negotiation table.
Only Marital Property is Divided
Family court orders only distribute marital property, which consists of “real and personal property” acquired by the couple during their marriage. This property includes homes, cars, and even debt.
Some possible exceptions include gifts to an individual, assets acquired before the marriage, and items expressly excluded by a written agreement.
Despite having the scope of the marital property defined clearly by the South Carolina legislature, the scope of marital property can and is often challenged by one or both parties. For example, your spouse may have accrued large amounts of debt without your knowledge. Your lawyer can help you prove you weren’t responsible for those debts.
Factors to Determine the Split of Assets
Once the assets have been properly classified, the assets are then assessed equitably through set criteria. These criteria include the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Age of the spouses at the time of marriage and divorce
- Reason for divorce involving wrongdoing
- Each spouse’s contributions to the assets
- Current asset value (individually and as a couple)
- Agreed-on arrangements for child care and support
Your lawyer can help you determine how to classify all your assets and determine what should be yours.
How Assets Are Split
The court will award each spouse a proportionate value for assets that can be broken apart, such as money. Otherwise, assets that only come in one piece, such as houses or cars, can be divided by awarding one spouse the asset and a compensatory sum or item for the other spouse, or by selling the asset.
For asset division beyond physical division, the courts may opt to award each spouse a percentage of marital property which can be filled by a combination of personal property, assets, and debts of each spouse’s choice. However, dividing assets in a divorce requires full transparency. All shared marital assets must be up for distribution.
Ask a Divorce Attorney about Your Assets
A divorce can drag on if the division of assets in a divorce is not settled fairly and amicably. Ensuring you get your fair share means having precise asset valuations, tough negotiation skills, and keen knowledge of state laws.
Save yourself time and money and have Sarah Henry Law navigate the intricacies of asset division for you. Consult with our firm by calling us at 864-478-8324 or by completing the online contact form below.