Q: SC Divorce; Property entitlement
Would I be entitled to a portion of the value of items such as, boats, jet ski etc. my husband purchased during our 9 year marriage if he put them in his mother's name? (if I filed for a divorce) He has been the sole provider during our marriage and says I wouldn't be entitled to anything since I didn't pay for anything.
A: Marital property includes all real and personal property the parties acquired during the marriage and owned as of the date of filing or commencement of marital litigation. S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-630(A) (Supp. 2009). "The doctrine of equitable distribution is based on a recognition that marriage is, among other things, an economic partnership." Mallett v. Mallett, 323 S.C. 141, 150, 473 S.E.2d 804, 810 (Ct. App. 1996). "Upon dissolution of the marriage, property acquired during the marriage should be divided and distributed in a manner which fairly reflects each spouse's contribution to its acquisition, regardless of which spouse holds legal title." Id. The ultimate goal of apportionment is to divide the marital estate, as a whole, in a manner that fairly reflects each spouse's contribution to the economic partnership and also the effect on each of the parties of ending that partnership. Johnson, 296 S.C. at 298, 372 S.E.2d at 112.
The division of property is an equitable one so you could ask the judge to consider the items purchased during the marriage regardless of the fact that his mother is on the title and it would be at the judge's discretion.
This is not legal advice but simply general information. For legal advice please contact your own attorney.
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