The family court has authority to divide “marital” property as part of any divorce or separate maintenance action. Dividing property and assets during a divorce can be very difficult, especially if the assets are significant.
Typically, all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage (up to the date of filing) is marital property and all property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage (or after filing) is not. However, there are important exceptions to these general rules.
We have extensive knowledge and experience in handling highly charged and complex asset cases. We rely on forensic accountants, certified public accountants, and other financial advisors to assist us in accurately valuing your estate and business.
Some of the following are commonly asked questions about property division:
What happens to the assets that I owned before I got married?
Assets owned before the marriage remain the separate property of the owner. Property that is inherited during the marriage is the separate property of the person who inherited it. If marital money gets comingled into the separate property, or if separate property is used to buy jointly held real estate, division can be complex and in certain cases, transmuted into marital property.
Who is responsible for paying the debts?
Like assets, there is a presumption that marital debts are divided equally between you and your spouse. Like assets, there could be reasons to justify dividing the debts unequally. You could potentially receive a credit for payments you made between the date of separation and the date of settlement or trial, which reduce the marital debt.
Is my spouse entitled to part of my business?
If you have exclusively operated your business during your marriage, it is likely that you will retain control of your business. However, it may be necessary to hire an appraiser or expert to assist with valuing your business. Other assets may be distributed to your spouse to offset the value of your business, or you may have to pay a sum of money to balance out the equity.
At Law Firm of Sandye T. Hicks, LLC,
We help clients throughout the Conway and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area, divide their marital estate. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney (843) 488-2929.