When a couple gets married, they share a family, hobbies, kids, and share properties. During a divorce, couples have to now split property and assets that they may have bought together or separately over the years. Some of the things that will determine how the property is divided are where the couple lives, whether the property is community property or separate property, or if a prenuptial agreement was signed before the marriage.
Divorce property division in South Carolina can be complicated. You may be able to settle other issues regarding the divorce. Still, you may end up needing a lawyer to help you with property division issues. The property division laws are different depending on the state where you live. Talk to a South Carolina lawyer at Greenville Family Attorneys so they can tell you about the divorce property division process in South Carolina.
As you go your separate ways, you want to make sure that you can share assets and debts fairly. You do not have to go to court to divide your assets. You can seek informal ways of dividing your property. Even so, you should note that until the judge signs the court order, you still both jointly own the properties and debts. You should get a good divorce lawyer to help you understand how the division of property works in South Carolina. Contact our Greenville Family Attorneys office or fill out our online form, and we will get back to you!
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What Is Not Considered Marital Property
Property that you do not own together as a couple and is owned only by one couple is separate property. Depending on the state that you live in, the definition of marital and non-marital properties will slightly differ. Even so, the same rules will apply. South Carolina is an equitable state, and only marital properties will be divided among couples. What property is referred to as separate property?
- Assets owned by a spouse before they got into the marriage
- Property acquired by the spouse during the time they were married and during the marriage was never used to benefit the marriage or spouse.
- If either of the spouses receives a gift before or during the marriage, it is regarded as separate property.
- An inheritance received by either of the spouses before or during the marriage.
- Assets that a spouse has gotten by using separate assets, and their intention was to keep it separate.
- When spouse before marriage signs a premarital agreement that states that the property is separate. It is referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement that abides by the laws of the states can as well separate property
- Personal injury awards
- Funds in separate financial accounts
- Any future acquisition after a divorce decree has been passed and couples part way
Since it is hard to determine if property is personal property or marital estate at times, the asset may have to be turned in to cash, so it becomes divisible property. Even as the family court judge decides on the property should go to each spouse, here are some of the factors that they will consider while dividing the property.
- The time of marriage in terms of years. How property is divided for shorter marriages will differ from how it is divided for lengthy marriages
- The age of the couple during the time they got married and the time they are getting a divorce
- The marital estate worth/ valuation of the property
- How much each couple has contributed towards the marital asset (monetary and non-monetary contributions)
- If either of the spouses has misconduct that caused there to be grounds for divorce. For example. If one of them has committed marital misconduct like adultery
- If the couple has a minor child the spouse that has child custody matters. The parent with custody has a high likely hood of keeping the family house over the spouse granted visitation rights since they have care of children
Other additional factors are;
- Health conditions
- Retirement benefit
- Physical cruelty
You must understand what separate property is during your marital settlement agreement. Contacting an experienced family attorney who will give you information and help you protect your properties is your best bet. Greenville Family Attorneys in Grenville, South Carolina, is just a call away.
How Separate Property Becomes Marriage Property
Separate asset can become mixed property based on the actions of the individual.
If the spouse who owns the separate property before the marriage ends does a transfer of property or portions of their real property in a joint account, the other party can contend for the asset. It can be classified as mixed property if the change was made when the couple was married and before legal separation.
Also, suppose one of the couples who owns separate property decides to gift the other spouse a portion of their property when they are married. In that case, it can be classified as mixed property. However, the other party will have to prove that they were gifted the property or asset.
Mixing non-marital funds with marital property will cause separate property to become marital property. If, for example, you have a separate account and you transfer your funds from your individual account into a joint account, then your separate finances can be classified as marital property.
Tracking marital property and proving that non-marital property is marital property can take time and a lot of effort to verify. You will need to go through your financial records and activities and find any receipts or credible evidence you might have that will support your claim.
If you have valuable assets that you need to protect and don’t want to lose them during the separation period, you should find a skilled family law attorney to offer you legal representation and explain to you community property laws. We can help protect your property rights during a marital property agreement in court. Reach out!
The Don’ts During a Separation
During the divorce process, you want to make sure that the process of property division flows smoothly and that your behavior during the marital settlement agreement process is highly professional.
It is at times hard to do that, incredibly if it’s a painful and highly emotional divorce and some couples will let their emotions get the better of them. However, you should realize that your behavior during the litigation process can significantly affect the litigation process’s outcomes.
After you decide that a divorce is what you want, it is crucial to contact a divorce attorney. They will not only represent you during the litigation process, but they will also guide you on what not to do.
Here are some of the things that you should avoid since they will hurt your case and are not helpful.
- Avoid sending your spouse any recorded messages that are emotional and that show anger. If you have to leave them a voicemail, make sure that it is brief, professional, and direct.
- The voice mail messages you send your spouse should not be descriptive and should not show too much emotion. Again, let the voicemail message be short, direct, and formal.
- During the litigation process, you should not make any posts on social media about issues you have with your spouse or the process itself. Until the divorce process is over, it would be better to keep it quiet. Also, even if you have put your settings to private, avoid posting about the issues.
- Examine yourself. If you want to talk to your spouse in face-to-face interaction, via message, or any other means, access yourself. If you know that what you want to say to them cannot be expressed in court or before any other court official, don’t say it at all.
- Avoid making derogatory statements to your kids about their mother or father.
- You should remain sober throughout the entire process. Avoid illegal drug use and excessive consumption of alcohol.
You should consider a family attorney that will guide you through the dos and don’ts during the marital litigation process. You want to avoid hurting your case, and it is essential to get a complete picture of some of the behaviors that could hurt your case.
How Long Does A Couple Have To Be Married Before They Split Up In South Carolina?
South Carolina does not recognize legal separation. However, for you and your spouse to obtain a no-fault divorce, you have to be separated for one year. However, if you breach the rules of the separation agreement, the judge will not grant you a divorce.
You can opt to agree with your partner on how you are going to divide property, but if you are unable to do it, the court will do it for you. The court will use equitable division or equitable distribution to separate property for the couples. They will consider factors like how long a couple has been married, the properties they own together and separately, and contributions each party has made to determine fair distribution.
You should seek the services of a professional divorce lawyer to help you get the best outcome in a property settlement agreement. You can rely on Greenville Family Attorneys for legal advice as well as legal representation during your marital litigation process.
Call a Family Attorney to Help Your Divorce Property Division in South Carolina
When a couple is going through a divorce, especially where kids are involved, the best way that they can divide property is through a mediation process. However, mediation fails if both parties cannot agree, if one of them is being unfair or if there is a domestic altercation. In this case, they need a family lawyer who can represent their divorce property settlement case in court, help them protect their rights and the right of their children.
We are here for you. We have been representing individuals just like you and helped them get fair property division terms. We care about settling you and your family after the divorce. Hire the best lawyers in town to represent you during marital litigation. Book an appointment with Greenville Family Attorneys!