Is SC a community property state? What is marital property?
When it comes to division of marital property – assets as well as debts – many states maintain that a 50/50 division must be maintained. These community property states make this equal distribution part of their law, disallowing for any extenuating circumstances, such as fault by one party, that might otherwise have a bearing on the division of marital property.
So is SC a community property state? No; it’s considered an “equitable apportionment” state, which means that the division of both assets and debts is made based on multiple influencing factors instead of automatically being made based on a specified percentage. Under SC divorce law, South Carolina is an equitable apportionment state but the reality is that most SC divorce judges divide property 50/50 MOST of the time.
So what is marital property? Basically, it includes all the property and debts that were acquired during the course of the marriage. South Carolina recognizes that marriage is an “economic partnership” it usually does not include “separate property” that was acquired prior to marriage or part of an inheritance. Under some circumstances nonmarital property can be converted to marital property. However, gifts given to one spouse from a third party are not considered part of marital property.
Another exception: If you own an asset prior to marriage and the value of that property increases during your marriage through the marital efforts of both spouses, then that property may be considered marital property. Likewise, when separate property has been “transmuted” into marital property. Generally, that means that the separate property has become commingled, or intertwined, with marital property, is held jointly, or is used in such a way during marriage as to make it marital property.
Confused about marital property and its division in South Carolina? We can help. Lindsay Blanks is an experienced Charleston divorce lawyer. Give us a call today at (843)-863-1800 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online form to learn more.