Property Distribution

Property Distribution

Property Distribution

In South Carolina only the Family Court has jurisdiction to divide marital property. The division of marital property is known as equitable distribution. Marital property includes all property, both real and personal acquired by either party during the marriage regardless of how title is held (an individual spouse’s name, joint name, or in certain circumstances, the name of a third party) except property that was acquired by inheritance or gift from someone other than a spouse. Non-marital property includes property that was owned prior to marriage or property that was a gift (from a 3rd party) or inheritance during marriage. Marital and non-marital debts would have the same definitions as their “property” counterparts, except that the word debt is substituted for property.

Non-marital property may become marital property if it is transmuted. Transmutation may exist if it is shown that the parties treated and considered the property as marital during the marriage. Transmutation may be shown by placing the property in joint name, the property was commingled with marital property so as to become untraceable, or if the property was used in support of the marriage.

There are 16 factors which the law requires the trial judge to consider when dividing marital property and debt. The factors are:

  • 1. Ages at time of marriage and currently.
  • 2. Length of marriage.
  • 3. Marital misconduct, including economic misconduct.
  • 4. Contributions to acquisition, maintenance and increase in value of property, both direct and indirect.
  • 5. Income of each spouse.
  • 6. Earning potential of each spouse.
  • 7. Health of each party.
  • 8. Education and future training of each party.
  • 9. Non-marital property of each party.
  • 10. Retirement benefits of each party.
  • 11. Award or denial of alimony.
  • 12. Desirability of awarding marital home to one of the parties.
  • 13. Tax consequences.
  • 14. Prior support obligations.
  • 15. Marital debt.
  • 16. Child custody arrangements.
  • 17. Other relevant factors.

Representing Clients Throughout The Hilton Head Area

  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Bluffton, SC
  • Jasper County, SC
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Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
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