Divorce Myths Chapter 2: Splitting up Property

In our last article, we looked at divorce myths related to child custody and support. Today, we look at some of the most common myths regarding marital property and alimony. At The Peck Law Firm, we remain committed to helping men and women navigate the divorce process. Our clients need timely, accurate information about the law so they can make informed decisions. Below, we bust some of the most common divorce myths.

Myth: Marital Property is Divided 50/50

That’s not entirely accurate. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state. Put simply, judges divide property “fairly” and look at many factors. Read our article here to learn more about what that means. Sometimes, a perfect 50/50 split just isn’t feasible.

Of course, married couples can always decide how to divide their marital property. This is often the best strategy since you control what you leave the marriage with. The Peck Law Firm can draft a marital agreement that works for you.

Myth: You Get the House if Your Name is On the Deed

Not true! What qualifies as marital property in South Carolina doesn’t depend on whose name is on the deed or title. Instead, we must look at when you acquired the property. If you bought your home after being married, then any equity in it is marital property.

Myth: If You Bought a House Before Marriage, It’s Yours after Divorce

It depends. If you paid for the house in cash, then it will be your separate property. That means you can exit the marriage with all the equity.

But if you took out a mortgage and made payments while married, then some of the equity will belong to your spouse. That’s because the wages a couple earned while married are considered marital.

Myth: Your Small Business is Yours to Keep after Divorce

Business assets can be considered marital, so this isn’t really true. Many small business owners are shell-shocked to find out their spouse could get some of the business equity in divorce. Even if your ex never lifted a finger to build the business, the equity could be considered marital. We strongly encourage business owners to draft a pre-marital agreement which identifies business assets as your separate property.

Myth: Only Women Can Get Alimony

Not true! Once upon a time, few women worked outside the home. Today, however, either spouse might qualify for alimony depending on the circumstances.

Myth: Alimony Lasts Indefinitely

The duration of alimony will depend on the type of alimony you receive. Rehabilitative alimony is usually temporary. Periodic alimony might remain in effect for as long as the ex-spouses remain alive and unmarried. Nevertheless, even periodic alimony might be revised later due to changing circumstances, such as one spouse remarrying.

Be sure to discuss the likely duration of alimony with your Charleston divorce attorney. You can also set the duration of alimony in a marital agreement.

We Can Answer Your Questions about a South Carolina Divorce

The Peck Law Firm can meet for a confidential consultation if you contact us today.

Recommendations For Additional Reading

Dividing Retirement Accounts in a Divorce Property Settlement
How Is Property Divided in a Charleston Divorce?
Why You Need a Prenuptial Agreement