Can I pay my legal fees with marital funds in a Charleston divorce?
Divorce in South Carolina can be an emotional and financially challenging experience. One of the challenges that many individuals face is how to pay for legal fees associated with the proceedings. Oftentimes, people may wonder if they can use marital funds to pay for their legal fees. In South Carolina, the answer to this question is not always clear-cut, and it depends on various factors.
If you are considering using marital funds to pay for your legal fees, it is important to understand how South Carolina law approaches property division, because marital funds are subject to being divided between spouses. South Carolina divides property in divorces ‘equitably,' which means that marital property is split between the parties in a way that is considered fair.
In the context of using marital funds to pay for legal fees, the court will generally consider several factors when determining the division of marital property, including the nature of the marital property, the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, and the income and earning potential of each spouse. These are the general factors related to equitable division in South Carolina.
If there is a court order already in place that does not allow either party to dissipate the marital estate, alienate funds from the marital estate, etc., then the party seeking to use marital funds to pay legal fees must first get leave of court to do so.
If the court determines that using marital funds to pay for legal fees is appropriate, it may consider factors such as the nature of the legal fees, the financial resources of each spouse, and any other relevant factors. If you are the party seeking to use marital funds to pay for legal fees, it may be necessary to provide evidence of the nature and purpose of the legal fees. In some cases, the court may require the retaining spouse to reimburse the marital estate for any legal fees paid.
In general, it is advisable to speak with an experienced family law attorney in South Carolina if you are considering using marital funds to pay for legal fees associated with a divorce. An attorney can provide guidance and legal advice based on your individual circumstances and help you navigate the complexities of property division in a divorce.
Overall, using marital funds to pay for legal fees in a divorce is a complex issue that depends on various factors. If you are going through a divorce in South Carolina and are considering using marital funds to pay for legal fees, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your options and protect your interests.