Selling a House During Divorce in South Carolina Guide
Facing a divorce can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. One of the main concerns during this time is the division of assets, specifically a marital home sale. If you have received divorce papers in South Carolina, it’s important to understand the options available for selling houses, condos, or mobile homes. This valuable article will walk you through the steps involved with a home sale during a divorce, discuss who gets offered the house and title, and provide you with all the most wanted information on alternatives to a costly sale. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions about companies that buy houses for cash in South Carolina.
Table Of Contents
- How Does Selling Your House During a Divorce Work in South Carolina?
- Who Gets the House in a Divorce in South Carolina?
- Is It Better to Sell the House Before or After the Divorce?
- Alternatives to Selling the House During a Divorce in South Carolina
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Easiest Way to Sell a House During a Divorce in South Carolina
How Does Selling Your House During a Divorce Work in South Carolina?
Making a house sale during a divorce can be a complex process, but there are key steps that can help make it a smoother experience for the sellers. You want to make the right decision, or your house could end in foreclosure as both parties fight for their right to sell.
Step 1. Find A Divorce Attorney in South Carolina
If you plan to sell your house during a divorce or want to find a seller, seek advice from a family law attorney specializing in South Carolina laws. They can provide knowledgeable guidance on legal procedures and protect your rights and interests throughout this costly and complicated issue of a home sale.
Step 2: Determine Who Owns the Real Estate
The real estate ownership will depend on various factors, including whether the property was acquired before or during the marriage. It is also important to know whether it was inherited or gifted to one spouse. Understanding the ownership structure is crucial in determining how to sell the house.
Dividing assets during a divorce in South Carolina can be difficult and emotional. However, by understanding the principles and factors involved, divorcing couples can better navigate this aspect of their separation. Let’s explore the key points in more detail.
Marital Property vs. Separate Property
In South Carolina, marital property encompasses assets and debts that either partner acquires during their union, such as real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, household items, and any debts accumulated during the marriage.
On the contrary, separate properties typically refer to assets or debts one spouse owned before the union. Remember that an asset can lose its protected status if it gets mixed with marital assets or is needed for the benefit of the marriage.
Dividing Marital Property
When deciding how to divide marital estate property in South Carolina, the courts consider various factors listed in the South Carolina Equitable Apportionment Act, such as:
Duration of the Marriage
When dividing assets in an uncontested divorce, the duration of the marriage plays a significant role. In most cases, the judge will strive for a fair distribution of property, with longer marriages often resulting in a more equitable split.
Contributions of Each Spouse
During a divorce process, the court will evaluate each spouse’s contributions towards acquiring, maintaining, and increasing the value of the shared assets. These contributions can take many forms, such as financial contributions, homemaking, childcare, and other types of spousal support.
Value of Separate Property
The judge takes into account the value of each spouse’s separate property when dividing marital assets. This ensures that the distribution is fair and recognizes the individual contributions of each spouse.
During the proceedings, the court considers both people’s financial situations, including income, earning potential, and future expense needs. This process determines a fair distribution that takes into account each spouse’s ability to support themselves after the divorce.
If children are involved, the judge considers the custody arrangement and the children’s best interests. Sometimes, that may include awarding the custodial parent a larger share of the assets and other personal things to ensure the children’s stability and well-being.
The court also takes into account the tax implications of the property division, including potential capital gains taxes or taxable liabilities associated with some assets.
You should understand that equitable does not always mean equal. While an equal division of assets is often considered fair, the judge may deviate from a 50-50 split if deemed appropriate based on the case’s circumstances.
Dividing the marital home can be difficult during a divorce, especially if a title is in both spouses’ names. According to divorce laws, the court considers multiple factors when deciding whether a home sale can proceed. If both spouses agree on keeping the house, they may explore options such as a buyout sale, where one spouse compensates the other for their share.
Separate Property Claims
When determining whether a marital home should be considered separate property, the burden of proving the claim falls on the spouse, who believes they have a right to separate property. This individual can present related evidence, such as documentation or witness testimony, that shows the home was acquired before the marriage.
Step 3: Decide How You Want to Sell the Property
In South Carolina, there are various ways to sell a house when going through a divorce. You can opt to sell it on the open market with the assistance of a real estate service, act as a seller by yourself, or explore alternative seller methods, including working with a cash home buyer. Sellers often choose the least costly option that has the fewest hassles.
Real Estate Agent
Both spouses can choose a real estate agent to work as the seller of their shared home. You will want a settlement agreement outlining the agent’s responsibilities, but it’s not mandatory. If the spouses cannot agree, their divorce lawyers can assist in selecting an agent. However, if the divorce goes to a trial, a judge or court-appointed representative will choose an agent to assist with the sales offer.
Local Cash Home Buyer
If you’re going through a divorce in South Carolina and want to sell your home, working with a local cash home buyer can be a wise choice. Many people have worked and signed with these professionals. You will notice a huge difference in the companies’ quality of service. Working with an agent or handling the sale as a seller cannot match that level of service. This option eliminates the need for both spouses to communicate and agree on repairs, upgrades, or staging.
In addition, there are no realtor fees or payments. A cash buyer will purchase the home as-is, without any open houses or repeated showings. As a seller, this is a hassle-free way to sell your home and get cash during a stressful time. The only decision both sellers need to make is which cash buyer in the area to choose.
If you are looking for a homebuyer, Upstate Home Offers is a local house-buying company out of South Carolina. They’ve built their business by buying houses for cash. They promise competitive cash offers without the hassle of dealing with real estate agents, etc. They operate throughout South Carolina and have bought many inherited houses from sellers going through the probate process.
For Sale by Owner
For those who want complete control over the divorce sale of your home, an FSBO (For Sale by Owner) option might be suitable for you. As a seller, you don’t need to work with a real estate agent and won’t have to pay any commission. Although, keep in mind that you may have limited access to potential buyers. Deciding to work with your spouse as a seller requires coordination and agreement, which might be challenging during a divorce.
Step 4: Sell the House
When working with a real estate agent, they will handle the marketing, showings, negotiations, and paperwork involved in the sale. If you act as a seller or search for a cash home buyer, you’ll need to handle these home sale aspects by yourself.
Step 5: Divide the Proceeds From the Sale
Remember that a 50/50 split of the home sale proceeds is not automatically assumed due to the state’s equitable distribution policy. Additionally, there are other fees and considerations to remember when you work as a seller of a marital home, including paying off the following:
• Any outstanding property tax liens
• The remaining mortgage balance from the lender
• Any equity lines of credit or second mortgages were taken out on the property
Plus, you will also need to pay the agent’s fees before completing the sale.
Who Gets the House in a Divorce in South Carolina?
When a couple gets divorced, how their family home is divided depends on their situation. Generally, a few scenarios happen when dividing a house. They include:
Sell the House and Divide the Proceeds
This is a common option where the house is sold. The proceeds are divided between the spouses according to the court’s decision or the divorce settlement terms.
Buyout by One Spouse
Sometimes, one spouse may buy out the other partner’s share of the house to get their name on the deed. This process may involve paying the other spouse their share of the equity, allowing one spouse to retain ownership.
Co-Ownership or Deferred Sale
In certain situations, divorcing spouses may choose to maintain co-ownership of the house for a specified period or until certain conditions are met, such as the children reaching a certain age. This option can delay the house sale until a more convenient time.
The division of the house will depend on the circumstances of the divorce decree and the decisions made by the court or the divorcing spouses.
Is It Better to Sell the House Before or After the Divorce in South Carolina?
Whether to sell the house before or after the divorce should be based on what makes the most financial and logistical sense for both parties. Here are a few considerations.
Completing a house sale before the divorce is finalized may provide a clearer picture of the assets available for division. It can help both parties plan their finances and move forward with a more accurate understanding of their financial situation.
Selling the house before the divorce can help both parties detach emotionally and focus on the practical aspects of the separation. After that, you can have a clear head as you work as the seller of your home.
The real estate market can be unpredictable, and you will want to look at current market conditions when deciding whether to sell before or after the divorce. Take time to look at local refinance offers in the area too. Consult an agent or do market research to assess the best time to sell for optimal results.
Cooperation and Communication
To sell a house during a marital split requires cooperation and communication between the divorcing spouses. If there is a lack of trust or effective communication, it might be better to wait until after the divorce to sell the house.
Make sure to discuss this decision with your divorce attorney, financial advisor, and real estate professional to evaluate the specific factors in your situation to make an informed decision.
Alternatives to Selling the House During a Divorce in South Carolina
A house sale is not the only option during a divorce. Depending on the circumstances, you might want to change course and consider alternative options:
Mediation or Negotiation
Mediation or negotiation can help divorcing spouses reach a compromise regarding the house. This process can involve one spouse buying out the other’s share, looking for a seller, having co-ownership for a certain period, or waiting for a deferred sale.
Temporary Use Agreement
If both parties agree, a temporary use agreement can be established, allowing one spouse to reside in the house for a specified period. After that time, the home can be sold.
Renting Out the Property
Sometimes, when getting a divorce, the couple may decide to rent out their property and split the money from the rent while they figure out what to do with the house in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I sell the house before the divorce is final?
Selling the house before the divorce is final can be complicated and may require consent from both spouses or approval from the court. Consult with a divorce attorney to understand the specific legal requirements and implications in your jurisdiction.
Is South Carolina a 50-50 divorce state?
How assets are divided during a divorce in South Carolina may differ from other states. South Carolina uses a principle of “equitable distribution,” meaning assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally.
How does capital gains tax work in a divorce?
Capital gains tax is typically associated with selling a property that has appreciated in value. During a divorce, there may be tax implications if you sell the house and realize you might have a capital gain. Once again, talk with a tax professional to understand the tax implications and any potential exemptions or exclusions that may apply in your divorce situation.
Can I force my ex to sell the house after the divorce?
Whether or not you can sell your house after a divorce depends on several factors. While you want to remain courteous during this process, sometimes, that is not possible. If one partner wants to find a seller to buy the home, but the other does not, a court may intervene and order the sale as part of the divorce settlement.
How do I sell my house if one partner refuses?
If your partner is unwilling to work as a house seller or find another seller during a divorce, you may have to take legal action. This often involves working with your divorce lawyer to file a motion with the court, requesting an order to sell the property. The court will weigh several factors and decide based on what is best for both parties.
Easiest Way to Sell a House During a Divorce in South Carolina
Are you finding it frustrating to be a seller for your home? Upstate Home Offers can help! These professionals work with sellers during divorces in South Carolina to take the guesswork out of the process. Book an appointment with this trusted cash home buyer.
When working with this business, you will never feel pressured to negotiate a better deal to sell your home. You can enjoy a hassle-free process that allows you to sell the house as-is without repairs. Sellers love this option because Upstate Home Offers can provide personalized assistance and help alleviate the stress of dealing with a home during a divorce. Plus, Upstate Home Offers assists with quick home sales throughout the state, including helping sellers in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, and Rock Hill.