Property division is one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. It gets even more complicated when there is no legally binding agreement on how a couple should divide marital assets, yet they cannot reach an agreement. In such cases, the court will decide what each spouse will get.
The decision of who keeps the family home is made on a case-by-case basis. A judge will consider various aspects within and beyond the divorce when issuing orders on what happens to the property.
What the law in South Carolina says
South Carolina is an equitable distribution state, meaning marital assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. The court considers various factors, including the duration of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse and the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition and maintenance of the property
If the family home is marital property, it will be subject to division. The judge may order its sale and divide the proceeds accordingly or award the house to one spouse but require them to buy out the other spouse’s interest in the property. It all depends on the prevailing circumstances, such as each spouse’s financial ability to maintain the property or buy the other out.
However, if children are involved, the custodial parent will likely keep the family home to provide stability for the children. The law puts the children’s best interests before anything else, and they can be a determining factor.
Understand your rights
You are entitled to a fair share of the marital assets, not just the family home. As such, it is imperative to seek legal counsel as soon as possible for guidance on how you can protect your rights and interests during the divorce.