In Need of a Property Division Lawyer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our Myrtle Beach divorce attorneys know property division can be complex and often contentious. Determining who gets what while dissolving your marriage can be an emotional process. Moreover, without specific knowledge of the process, many spouses believe they are entitled to half of everything the couple owns.
Here, things are done a little differently. Property in South Carolina is divided through the principle of equitable distribution, meaning it should be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. This often surprises many divorcing couples, so it is advisable to have a skilled divorce attorney by your side from the start of your case.
Our Horry County property division lawyers will walk you through the process and help you determine what marital property is, what separate property is, and what it means to divide it equitably.
What is Considered Marital Property During a South Carolina Divorce?
In South Carolina, marital property is the property that is subject to division during a divorce. Marital property includes any assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage — regardless of whose name is on the title.
Here are some examples of what is typically considered marital property during a South Carolina divorce:
- Homes and Real Estate
Any real property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property. This includes the family home, vacation properties, and investment real estate.
- Bank Accounts
Money in joint bank accounts and any savings or checking accounts opened during the marriage are usually considered marital property.
- Retirement Accounts
Funds accumulated in retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, during the marriage are typically considered marital property.
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment accounts acquired during the marriage are often considered marital property.
Cars, motorcycles, boats, and other vehicles purchased during the marriage are generally marital property.
- Personal Property
Household items, furniture, electronics, and other personal property acquired during the marriage fall into the category of marital property.
If a business was established or significantly expanded during the marriage, it may be considered marital property.
Pensions earned during marriage are generally considered marital property.
Debts incurred during the marriage, including mortgages, credit card balances, and loans, are also part of the marital property subject to division.
The fundamental principle in South Carolina divorce law is equitable distribution, meaning that property should be divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. Our skilled property division attorneys in Myrtle Beach can help you accurately outline each financial position so you know what to expect from the legal process and can begin negotiating accordingly.
What is Considered Separate Property During a South Carolina Divorce?
Separate property in a South Carolina divorce refers to property not subject to division but with the individual owner. Generally, separate property is not part of the equitable distribution process, meaning it is not divided between the spouses.
This may include:
- Property Owned Before Marriage
Any assets or property one spouse owned before marriage are considered separate property. This includes real estate, personal belongings, and financial assets acquired before the marriage.
- Gifts and Inheritances
The property one spouse receives as a gift or inheritance during the marriage is often classified as separate property. However, it is vital to keep these assets separate and not blend them with marital property.
- Property Excluded by a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
If a couple has a legally valid prenuptial agreement that specifies particular property as separate and not subject to division, the terms of that agreement are generally upheld.
- Property Designated as Separate
If both spouses agree to treat the specific property as separate, or if there is an explicit legal declaration that the particular property is not part of the marital estate, it may be considered independent.
Maintaining clear documentation and financial records to demonstrate the separate nature of these assets is crucial. Commingling separate property with marital property can complicate the classification process during a divorce.
Remember that while these are common categories of separate property, there can be exceptions and complexities. For example, if separate property increases in value during the marriage due to the efforts or contributions of both spouses, the increase in value may be subject to equitable distribution. Our Myrtle Beach property division attorneys can help you determine which properties are shared and which are separate so you understand how your financial position will be impacted during and after the divorce.
What is the Role of a Myrtle Beach Property Division Attorney During a South Carolina Divorce?
A Myrtle Beach property division attorney is crucial in helping individuals navigate the complexities of property division during a South Carolina divorce.
At the David W. Martin Law Group, our property division lawyers in Myrtle Beach will explain the relevant laws in South Carolina, answer questions, and help you understand their rights and options concerning property division, including:
- Asset Identification.
- Property Valuation.
- Protection of Separate Property.
- Assistance with Complex Assets.
- Adherence to Legal Requirements.
- Negotiations or Mediation.
- Drafting Agreements.
- Courtroom Representation.
- Enforcement and Modification.
We can also help for:
- Child Custody
- Fathers Rights
- Grandparents Rights
- Child Support
- Emergency Custody
- Uncontested Divorce
- Visitation Modification
Contact Our Experienced Property Division Attorneys in Myrtle Beach
Our experienced property division attorneys in Myrtle Beach are strong advocates for our clients, striving to protect their interests and achieve the best possible outcome in the property division.
If you are pursuing a divorce in South Carolina and are unsure what to expect from the property division process, call 854-854-5623 or contact us online to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique case by partnering with our dedicated South Carolina family law attorneys at the David W. Martin Law Group.