You may already be aware of some of the impacts divorce can have on your property. You and your spouse will have to decide how to split possessions like your house, your cars, furniture and more. But divorce in South Carolina can affect much more than just your physical belongings.

In most divorces, a court divides all finances in two. And each former spouse will be responsible for paying for housing, utilities, car payments and more with only one paycheck. Without proper planning, recently divorced people can find themselves in financial trouble.

Splitting finances in two

In a South Carolina divorce, a court can split any property that you and your spouse gained during marriage. This property can include your joint and separate bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, real estate owned jointly or separately and stocks or bonds.

Even if your spouse’s name is not on your property, a judge can divide it. The only exceptions to property division are inheritances and property acquired before your marriage. However, if you mix your separate property with marital property or your spouse contributes to the maintenance of your property, it can become marital.

Divorce can mean more bills

Not only will the court divide your property, but you will also have extra financial obligations. Through the divorce, you will have court filing fees and legal expenses. After your divorce, your paycheck alone must support any bills you have. And you may have to pay a new deposit or down payment on a new home.

If you were the main provider or if your spouse gets custody of your children, you may also have to pay child support and alimony.

How can I prevent my divorce from ruining my finances?

If you have multiple assets going into marriage, you can prevent losing them with a prenuptial agreement. This document keeps your separate property separate. It can be especially useful if you have a business.

If you don’t use a prenuptial agreement, you can protect yourself with early planning. If you and your spouse have been talking about divorcing, you can start separating your finances. If you have a joint account, you can each create a separate one and start saving for both the expenses of your divorce and the expenses afterward.

Post-divorce finances can be daunting. But with proper planning, you can make sure that you have a clear financial future.