South Carolina is an equitable property division state. However, determining what is fair in terms of asset division can be one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce.
A well-versed Beaufort property division lawyer understands that distributing your martial assets requires not just a calculator, but also the ability to present evidence strategically. Let Schiller & Hamilton’s respected family law attorneys assess your situation and advise you of the legal options that best meet your property settlement goals.
Defining Marital vs Non-Marital Property
Under state law, marital property includes all assets a couple acquires during their marriage. Assets each spouse obtained prior to marriage is generally considered separate property and would not be subject to division upon divorce. Additionally, if a spouse receives an inheritance or gift from a third party while married, they typically retain it as their separate property in a divorce.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can also control the categorization of marital property. Spouses can use a written agreement to identify what property will become marital and what will remain each party’s sole property. Because only marital property is subject to division in a divorce, spouses are encouraged to seek separate counsel from skilled property division attorneys in Beaufort before negotiating any distribution of their assets.
For a free legal consultation with a Beaufort Property Division Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
Equitable Division of Property in Beaufort Divorces
South Carolina judges must divide property equitably between divorcing spouses. This means the court’s allocation of property and debts must be fair to both parties, but not necessarily a 50/50 split. To determine an equitable division of assets, a court may consider the factors outlined in the South Carolina Code of Laws §20-3-620, which include but are not limited to:
- The length of the marriage
- The age of each party when they married and at the time of separation or divorce
- Each spouse’s contributions to the acquisition and appreciation in value of marital and separate property
- Either spouse’s contributions as a homemaker
- Each spouse’s income, earning potential, and opportunity to acquire future assets
- Either spouse’s needs for additional education or training to achieve their income potential
- The tax consequences to each party of the property division
- Whether either spouse is granted the right to live in the family home with the children
- The child custody arrangement
- Whether and how alimony is being awarded
A seasoned attorney experienced in asset division could help gather and present the evidence a Beaufort family court needs to assess each of these factors.
Beaufort Property Division Lawyer Near Me 1-803-366-0333
Does Marital Fault Impact Property Division in Beaufort?
Even though judges generally seek to allocate a couple’s assets fairly, they can consider either spouse’s misconduct in their analysis under specific circumstances. For example, if one spouse’s adultery caused the marital breakdown, a judge could award the faithful spouse a larger share of the assets. Similarly, a spouse who deliberately mishandles the parties’ finances to the other spouse’s detriment might receive less of the marital estate.
Notwithstanding the marital fault factor, once a judge issues a temporary support order or the couple signs a marital settlement agreement, they are each generally free to have relation with whomever they choose. Because marital misconduct could substantially impact the overall property settlement, a spouse is well-advised to work with an experienced asset division lawyer.
Talk to a Capable Attorney Today about Dividing Property in Beaufort
Whether you or your spouse filed for divorce, you can benefit from sound legal advice on how to best protect your interests in the marital estate. You may also require legal assistance if you brought a considerable amount of non-marital property into your marriage and your spouse is now claiming interest in it.
A dedicated Beaufort property division lawyer could advocate for your rights to certain assets. Our firm’s knowledgeable attorneys understand the distinction between marital and non-marital property and know what evidence to present in court to ensure a fair division of your assets. Call today and let our attorneys help you make informed decisions for your family and your future.