What To Know About High Net Worth Divorce in South Carolina

A high net worth divorce involves unique complexities that warrant careful consideration and attention. The more assets there are at stake, the more each party stands to gain or lose, creating unique challenges when dividing real estate holdings, business interests, retirement funds and other property. At Turner Family Law in Greenville, South Carolina, we understand how state laws impact a high asset divorce and have helped many people with high net worths navigate the intricacies of such cases.


Alimony, or spousal support, is an important aspect of a high-net-worth divorce, as it impacts the financial stability of both parties. Whether either party in the marriage has to pay support to the other depends on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, each party’s contributions to it and whether each party is employable on his or her own. The standard of living both parties came to enjoy during the marriage may also influence alimony or spousal support awards.

If one party receives spousal support in a high net worth divorce, he or she may receive one or more types of it.

South Carolina recognizes permanent periodic alimony, which typically stays in place until the receiving party remarries or either party dies.

Rehabilitative alimony may also be available. This type seeks to help one spouse get the training or skills needed to become self-supporting. A third option, reimbursement alimony, seeks to compensate one spouse for any sacrifices made on the other spouse’s behalf during the marriage. In contrast, lump-sum alimony, or a single payment of a set amount, may also come into play in a high asset divorce.

In some cases, courts may also award temporary alimony, which provides support to one party while divorce proceedings are ongoing.

Property Division

Property division can also prove complex and contentious in a high net worth divorce. South Carolina is an equitable division state, meaning both parties typically get a fair, if not always equal, portion of their shared marital property.

“Marital property” refers to anything either of you acquired during the course of your marriage. You may also have to address non-marital property in your split, and determining what falls into which category is not always easy.

Dividing property fairly also means you have to know its value. You may need to enlist the aid of valuation specialists to help you determine the value of real estate holdings, artwork, family heirlooms, fine jewelry and intellectual property. You may also need to take extra time and care when dividing the value of retirement funds, particularly if you are closing in on retirement age.

More specifically, you may need to consider how to equitably divide 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs and other types of retirement assets, which may require the creation of a document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO. A QDRO outlines how retirement assets undergo division in a divorce and ensures compliance with Employee Retirement Income Security Act terms.

Divorcing your spouse and dividing retirement and other assets also has tax implications. The more you understand about them, the less likely you are to face unpleasant surprises during tax season.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements may also come into play in a high-net-worth divorce. Drafted and signed ahead of a marriage, prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” can outline different terms and conditions meant to provide clarity, guidance and protection in the event of a divorce.

The contents of a prenuptial agreement differ from one to the next, but many prenups address similar areas. For example, many set clear guidelines for asset distribution and what constitutes marital and non-marital property.

If you or your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement before your wedding, it may have far-reaching implications for your divorce. Thus, reviewing and considering each aspect and term of a prenuptial agreement before signing on the dotted line is important.

Help for Your High Net Worth Divorce

Are you navigating a high net worth divorce and wondering what you might do to simplify the process and increase your chances of a favorable outcome? At Turner Family Law, we know there is quite a bit riding on a high asset divorce, and we have provided knowledgeable guidance and support to many people in South Carolina facing similar situations. To learn more, call 864-740-3843.

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Initial Consultation

First, we will conduct an initial consultation and we will go over all the facts and details of your case.

Filing and Negotiations

We submit a Complaint to the Court, or help you respond to one. Hearings and negotiations take place.

Final Order

Following mediation, all unsettled parts of your case will be determined by the trial judge who issues final rulings.

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