South Carolina Divorce & Finances

The division of joint finances is one of the more unpleasant and potentially confusing aspects of going through a divorce. You may naturally have a few questions about the process. For instance, how will the court divide property? What are the tax consequences of divorce? Do you and your ex-spouse have estate planning issues to settle? What about spousal support payments (or alimony) in South Carolina? Will they be awarded, and if so, how much and for how long? The following headings discuss laws specific to South Carolina divorce and finances.

South Carolina Property Division/Equitable Distribution/Debts:

South Carolina is an “equitable distribution” state. Marital property will thus be distributed on terms considered to be fair. Note that “fair” does not necessarily mean equal. In the equitable distribution adjudication, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

South Carolina Spousal Support:

Spousal support is a court-ordered regular payment from one spouse to another after a divorce. Whenever the court issues a decree for divorce, the court may also issue an order for spousal support. Spousal support may only be ordered in South Carolina if the court finds that it is necessary, but a divorce in itself creates no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called “alimony” or “maintenance”), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support;
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking support to find appropriate employment and sufficient education/training for that employment;
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  4. Marriage duration;
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking support; and
  6. The ability of the proposed supporting spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse.

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