Property division is a big part of most divorces. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing couples in South Carolina to be familiar with how property division is conducted in South Carolina.
Equitable property division
South Carolina is an equitable property state which means that the family law court will seek a property division settlement agreement that is fair or equitable. This means that it will consider a variety of factors but that the property division settlement agreement may not necessarily be in half.
Factors used to determine property division
Factors that are used to determine an equitable division of property during divorce include:
- The length of the marriage;
- The ages of the divorcing spouses when they married and when they are divorcing;
- Value of the marital property;
- Non-marital property of each of the spouses;
- The contributions of each of the divorcing spouses to the marital property, including a stay-at-home spouse;
- The income and potential earnings of each of the spouses;
- The need for training or education to increase a spouse’s earning potential;
- The physical and emotional health of each of the divorcing spouses;
- Any vested retirement benefits of either of the spouses;
- If one of the spouses was awarded alimony;
- Child custody arrangements and obligations and if either spouse has prior child support or alimony obligations;
- Property division related to the family home;
- The tax consequences of the proposed property division settlement;
- The division of marital debts;
- Any marital misconduct including adultery and abuse; and
- Any other factors the court considers relevant to evaluate.
Property division is equitably based in South Carolina which requires a careful analysis of factors used to determine a property division agreement that is as fair as possible for both divorcing spouses. Divorcing spouses are encouraged to resolve property division concerns whenever possible which makes it helpful to be familiar with how property division is conducted. The family law court can help them with an equitable division of property based on the above factors if they are unable to reach a property settlement agreement themselves.