Proudly Serving South Carolina
Lexington Property Division Attorney
Equitable Distribution of Property
The family law courts in our state follow a principle of equitable distribution to determine the division of assets and debts in a divorce, attempting to apportion property fairly rather than equally. The amount of the marital property you receive depends on how well you can argue in negotiations and in court for why you deserve a larger share. Retaining a Lexington divorce lawyer to represent you can make a substantial difference in the outcome of this situation, and I invite you to come to The Farley Law Firm, LLC for a consultation to learn more about how I can help you protect your interests.
It is desirable to settle the questions of property division out of court if at all possible, and I will speak on your behalf during negotiations to sway the outcome in your favor. An out-of-court settlement allows both parties to maintain a higher degree of control over the proceedings. This is not always a likely end result since in a heated time such as a divorce a couple can find it challenging to agree on anything, let alone who deserves what. If you and your spouse are unable to come to agreements, the judge will have to rule on the issue for you, and at this point it becomes especially important to have legal representation to prevent a final decree of divorce which deprives you of your fair share of the property.
Division of Assets and Debts
Factors the judge will consider in dividing property between you and your spouse include:
- The duration of your marriage
- Each spouse’s age
- Whether it is a no-fault divorce or if either party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marital property, including work performed as a homemaker
- Your income and earning potential
- Whether the dependent spouse will require education or training before finding suitable employment
- How much each spouse will keep in non-marital property, which is anything acquired before the marriage or which was specifically gifted to that spouse
- Whether the court is also awarding spousal support or child custody to the dependent spouse
- Other factors which appear to be relevant
Unlike other parts of a marriage, the division of property cannot later be modified, making it important to find satisfactory terms up front. Since the court is looking to make the decision fair, a case will need to be made that effectively presents your right to certain assets. One of the main factors that should be stressed is the contribution to a marriage and this contribution may be financial or through other means, such as running the household and caring for the children. A judge wants to see each party’s side of the story but they may not understand all of it unless more aggressive and persuasive tactics are used, which an attorney will understand and implement.