What is considered to be separate property in a divorce?

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2011

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What is considered to be separate property in a divorce?

All my dad’s land was put in my name to avoid any legal issues he may have me. My wife and I are now going through a divorce. I have been told since no moneychanged hands and her name is not on any of the land it’s not considered marital property. What can you tell me?

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Family Law, South Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under South Carolina law, marital property is defined as all real and personal property that was acquired by the parties during the marriage that is owned when marital litigation is commenced, regardless of how legal title is held.  Now, non-marital (or separate) property is listed as exemptions to marital property under South Carolina Code §20-3-620(A). Some of these are:

  • Property acquired by either party by inheritance, devise, bequest, or gift from a party other than the spouse
  • Property acquired by either party before the marriage
  • Property excluded by written contract of the parties
  • Any increase in value in non-marital property, except to the extent that the increase resulted directly or indirectly from efforts of the other spouse during marriage

Under South Carolina Code §20-3-620(B), the court has no power to divide non-marital property.  You should know, though, that although the court can not divide non-marital property, it can be considered as a factor when dividing marital property in South Carolina.

Seems to me you are fine but check with an attorney in your state.

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