South Carolina Property Division Factors
In South Carolina, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Family Court within the Decree of Divorce.
South Carolina is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Family Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Family Court to be fair.
The court will decide what is marital property and divided that property is an equitable fashion by considering the following factors: A. The length of the marriage. B. The age of the spouses. C. Marital fault or misconduct. D. The current value of the property. E. The contribution each spouse made to the acquisition of the property. F. The income of each spouse. G. The earning potential of each spouse. H. The health of each spouse. I. The need of each spouse. J. The separate property of each spouse. K. The retirement benefits of each spouse. L. The tax consequences. M. Expenses a debts of each spouse. N. The custody arrangement if children are involved. O. Any other relevant factors. (Code of Laws for South Carolina - Chapter 3; Sections 20-7-472, 20-7-473)
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