The division of marital property can be straightforward if the parties agree on how to divide their assets. However, property division can be one of the most challenging issues in a Rock Hill, SC divorce case, especially in high-net-worth divorces.
Our Rock Hill divorce attorney will work with you to ensure you receive a fair share of the marital property. The legal team at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers is driven, skilled, and highly trained. We protect our clients’ rights and best interests throughout their divorce cases.
At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, we represent clients in complex property division cases. We have extensive experience handling matters related to property valuation, dividing retirement plans and accounts, business valuation, and locating concealed assets.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Rock Hill property division attorney at (803) 504-0971. We want to hear your story and explain how we can help you protect your future by working to obtain a fair property settlement agreement.
How Our Rock Hill Family Law Attorney Can Help With a Divorce and Property Division Case
When you decide to end your marriage, there are many issues to consider that could significantly impact your future. Receiving a fair portion of your marital assets gives you a good foundation for ensuring you have the necessary resources as you move forward with your life. An equitable property settlement also ensures that your children have what they need after the divorce is finalized.
When you are fighting for a fair share of the assets you worked hard to accumulate, you need an attorney on your side who fights even harder. Attorney Donae A. Minor is an aggressive trial lawyer who understands when to fight and when to use her exceptional negotiating skills to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients. The National Black Lawyers named her one of the Top 40 Under 40 attorneys for her dedication to clients and legal services.
When you hire Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to represent you during your divorce, you can trust that we will handle all matters related to your case with professionalism, dedication, and attention to detail.
In a Rock Hill property division case, you can expect us to:
- Work with you to develop a list of property that is important to you so we can prioritize those assets
- Hire forensic experts, investigators, accountants, and others as necessary to assist in discovering hidden assets
- Develop a strategy for property division that is fair but prioritizes and protects your best interests
- Negotiate a fair property settlement agreement to avoid lengthy and stressful litigation whenever possible
- Aggressively represent you in court to argue for your fair share of marital property if settlement is impossible
We know your future stability begins with being financially fit after a divorce. The property division we achieve must align with the next steps you take. Therefore, we’ll personalize a strategy for property division based on your needs and goals.
Regardless of whether you believe your divorce will be contested or amicable, it is always wise to speak with a skilled Rock Hill divorce lawyer early in the decision-making process. Legal advice now helps ensure your decisions will benefit you in the future.
Contact Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced property division lawyer in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
What Is Marital Property, and Why Does It Matter During a Divorce?
It is crucial that property is designated as marital property or separate property. Marital property can be divided during a divorce. However, separate property is not subject to property division.
Generally, marital property is any assets or debts that you accumulate after you are married. Even if the property is titled in one spouse’s name, it could still be considered a marital asset if the spouse acquired it during the marriage.
For example, the couple purchases a home, but the title only lists one spouse’s name. On its face, the house would belong solely to the spouse who holds the title. However, in a property division case, the spouse who is not on the title could have an interest in the home.
Suppose the couple only listed one spouse on the title because the other spouse had a poor credit rating. However, marital funds were used to pay the mortgage payments and upkeep on the home during the entire duration of the marriage. Therefore, the spouse who does not hold title could have an equitable interest in the home.
On the other hand, some property is not subject to property division. Separate property includes:
- The assets each spouse owned before the marriage
- Inheritances and gifts received during the marriage from family and close friends
- Property and money excluded from marital property by a written contract or prenuptial agreement
- Increase in the value of non-marital property during the marriage
Unless a spouse commingled separate property with marital assets or otherwise changed the classification of the asset, separate property will not be included in property division during a divorce.
How Do Courts Divide Marital Property in South Carolina?
Some states have adopted community property rules that divide marital property 50-50 during a divorce action. However, South Carolina is an equitable distribution state for property division.
If you do not have a valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, the equitable distribution laws in South Carolina Domestic Relations Code §20-3-610 apply. You and your spouse can negotiate a property division agreement. However, if you leave it up to the court, the judge decides what is fair and equitable based on various factors.
It is crucial to remember that equitable does not always mean equal. A judge may determine that an equitable distribution gives you 40% of the marital property and your spouse the remaining 60%. The judge could decide it is fair to award the marital home to your spouse and give you other assets to make the award fair.
Because “equitable” is a subjective determination made by family court judges, it is usually in both spouses’ best interests to negotiate a property settlement agreement.
Our Rock Hill property division lawyer will work with you to negotiate a fair agreement based on the facts of the case. Mediation and negotiation save time and expense, but it also means you have more control over the outcome and understand the agreement before you walk into court.
What Factors Do Judges Consider When Deciding on Property Division Cases in South Carolina?
The South Carolina Code provides 15 factors that judges must consider when deciding how to divide marital property. However, judges have the sole discretion to give weight to each factor in the proportion they find appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Factors used to determine equitable distribution of marital assets in a Rock Hill divorce are:
- The duration of the marriage, including the ages of the spouses when they were married and at the time of the divorce;
- Fault or marital misconduct of either or both spouses, whether or not the fault was used as grounds for the divorce, and how the misconduct impacted the economic circumstance of the parties or contributed to the breakup of the marriage;
- The value of marital property, including each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation, appreciation, and depreciation of the asset;
- The income, earning potential, and opportunity of each spouse for acquiring capital assets in the future;
- The emotional and physical health of each spouse;
- A spouse’s need for additional education or training to achieve the spouse’s income potential;
- The parties’ non-marital and separate assets;
- Whether there are vested retirement benefits for each or either spouse;
- Whether alimony or separate maintenance has been awarded;
- The appropriateness of awarding the family home to the spouse with custody of the children;
- The tax consequences for either or each spouse as a result of equitable distribution;
- Child support and alimony obligations from a previous marriage or for any other reasons;
- Liens, encumbrances, and debts owed upon marital property which must be equitably divided, and debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage;
- The terms of child custody and parental obligations; and,
- Other relevant factors that the judge deems appropriate to consider as part of the equitable distribution of marital property.
Two common reasons for challenges to equitable division are the classification of assets and debts and spouses concealing assets. We’ll work with you to ensure that your spouse is transparent about their assets and finances so that the final property division order is fair and equitable to you. If necessary, we are prepared to go to court to argue the matter before a judge and request that the court take steps to ensure transparency.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Rock Hill Property Division Lawyer
Do you have questions about property division in South Carolina? If so, we encourage you to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced Rock Hill property division attorney. We are here to provide sound legal advice, support, and guidance as you navigate the divorce process to move into the next phase of your life.