Equitable Distribution/Property Division

Since so many South Carolina divorces and child custody cases involve at least one spouse who is currently serving in the Armed Forces or who have previously served, military pensions, thrift savings plans, and VA disability benefits are quite frequently a topic of great concern. Fortunately, the law is pretty clear on how these types of assets and benefits will be handled in a divorce. When it comes to VA benefits, divorce, and other disability compensation benefits, South Carolina divorce lawyers can offer some reassurance.

South Carolina is home to a lot of military bases, especially for a relatively small state. We have two major initial recruit training centers – Parris Island for Marines and Fort Jackson for the Army. With so many military personnel living in the state, a common question often comes up in divorces: what happens to thrift savings plan in divorce? While there is never an easy answer to these questions, you do have some options. First, it’s important to know what a thrift savings plan (or “TSP”) is and how it differs from other types of retirement plans.

When two people get divorced, the court must divide everything. In South Carolina, divorce court judges must determine a number of issues, from how to divide personal property and visitation schedules to child support and alimony (“maintenance”). Each of these issues is dealt with in a final court order. That order creates a financial obligation for the parties. If a person is ordered to pay money to their spouse, that creates a debtor-creditor relationship until the financial obligation in the court order is satisfied. The question then becomes: is alimony dischargeable in bankruptcy?

Divorcing couples often have a misconception that once their divorce is finalized, they are done with the process. One “loose end” that is often overlooked is entry of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide certain retirement accounts pursuant to the final divorce decree. QDROs are entered according to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Oftentimes people do not think about the specifics of their retirement plan in great scrutiny during their everyday lives.  Unfortunately, once you initiate a divorce process, the majority of your assets are “put on the table” so to speak. You are forced to understand how your assets, including retirement plans, could be split after a final divorce judgment is entered. South Carolina, like a majority of states, follows an equitable distribution approach for the division of assets. However, to determine what is an equitable division, courts often consider whether assets are accessible now or are tax-deferred and only accessible upon retirement. This post will discuss and compare some of the main types of retirement plans to better outline how these assets may be divided in a divorce in South Carolina.

There may be very little love and trust between two spouses going through a divorce. Many spouses attempt to hide their assets in order to decrease the amount of property that will be divided and effectively keep more for themselves. Hidden assets in a divorce are not just a bad strategy with the potential to backfire legally and economically, but also has the potential to harm everyone involved. Due to hidden assets in a divorce, children could be denied their full amount of child support, a fair share of spousal assets could be hindered, and there could be a lower amount of alimony payments that otherwise could have been ordered. If you suspect your former spouse has hidden assets during your divorce, seek assistance from a divorce attorney immediately.

We have discussed the division of property here before. Who gets what after a divorce and who is responsible for the debts and other liabilities is a big concern for most people. Not all debts are created equal, and this is especially so for a mortgage on the marital home. The mortgage on the marital home is often the largest and most significant of all debts that a married couple has. What happens to it after a divorce is often a mystery to divorcees. We’ll give you some insight in this article.

During a divorce in South Carolina, the property that is in the marriage is split between the divorcing spouses. While both spouses can come to an agreement as to how the marital property is divided up, many times emotions trump reason and the spouses are unable to come to an outside agreement. Instead, they turn to the court to make the decision for them. When this happens though, some parties will seek to keep some property out of the divorce proceedings, arguing that the property was outside of the marriage or not marital property. What exactly is considered marital property under South Carolina law, and how does property become marital property?

Divorce proceedings often conjure up images of two bitter spouses fighting over every marital asset there is, from the house to the most insignificant items. Many people may have a basic understanding of what they can ask for in a divorce and what they believe they should receive. However, there is a lurking question that no one is eager to ask and even less eager to address: marital debt. Just because a marriage ends does not mean that the debt the married couple racked up magically goes away. Someone has to pay for that debt, and who ends up responsible for it is often as big of a fight as the fight for the marital assets.