“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

The way assets are divided in a divorce is generally guided by the principle of community property. An asset that is community property is handled differently than an asset that is solely the property of one spouse. Assets that become mixed between community property and sole property typically get counted as community property. Important questions like “Who gets the house?” or “Who gets the dog?” are where it gets a little bit more complicated. Let’s dig in.

Community Property vs. Sole Property

Community property is all property, assets, debts and earnings that were accumulated by both parties during the marriage, plus anything acquired or bought with those earnings.

Sole property is property that solely belongs to only one spouse, typically things they owned prior to the marriage. Sole property can also include inheritances given to just that party, personal injury awards for just that party and the proceeds of pensions that were 100% vested (earned out) prior to the marriage. Property purchased solely for the use of one spouse using these types of sole property monetary sources can also qualify as sole property. Also a business owned solely by one spouse prior to the marriage that remained solely theirs (the other spouse had no involvement in it) can count as sole property.

Mixed or commingled property is when the lines are a little more blurry between community property and sole property. If sole property is used as community property during the marriage, the judge will generally rule it as community property. Depending on the circumstances, in most cases, any assets that are questionable as to whether they are community property or sole property will be treated as community property.

Who Gets the House?

If the parties own a home together and have children, the parent who will be the primary caretaker of the children typically gets the house. If the parties do not have children and own the home together, they can mutually decide how to handle the house or the judge can order the sale of the home and a split of the proceeds. If one spouse owned the home prior to the marriage, they will often be required to make an equitable concession for the appreciation of the home during the marriage but will often get to keep the home. As for the dog, that’s a decision the parties must come to mutually.

How are Assets Divided?

Community property is the property of importance here, plus any mixed property that is categorized as community property by a judge. In some states, the property is divided right down the middle equally. In South Carolina, assets, earnings and debts accumulated during the marriage are distributed equitably or fairly, though not necessarily equal. Each spouse will get personal property, assets and debts whose collective worth adds up to their equitable percentage as determined by the court. It’s important not to hide assets during a divorce proceeding as doing so could result in serious legal consequences.

If you are going through a divorce and suspect your spouse has hidden property or is not disclosing everything they’re supposed to, give Bulldog PI a call. We assist in finding hidden or undisclosed assets and other divorce-related issues.