Supreme Court reconsiders equitable distribution of marital home

Posted Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Equitable Distribution/Property Division, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Appellate Decisions, South Carolina Specific

In a May 8, 2013 substituted opinion in Wilburn v. Wilburn, 403 S.C. 372, 743 S.E.2d 734 (2013), the South Carolina Supreme Court made minor modifications to its previous equitable distribution decision.  While some of the analysis on other equitable distribution issues was modified, the only change in the Supreme Court’s previous ruling was on the equitable distribution of the marital home.

At trial, the family court valued the marital home equity at $512,814.  In the original opinion, the Supreme Court deducted $60,958 from the family court’s valuation of the marital home equity and awarded it solely to Husband due to his payment of the mortgage after the date of filing, which led to a $60,958 reduction in principal after the date of filing.  In the original opinion the Supreme Court found that the family court’s valuation of $512,814 was the valuation as of the date of trial.  On reconsideration, the Supreme Court determined that this valuation was actually as of the date of filing as the family court had deducted $60,958 from the value as of the date of trial in determining the marital home equity.  Thus, the Supreme Court held that the family court had already credited Husband with $60,958 for his post-filing principal reduction in its equitable distribution award and removed that credit from its substituted equitable distribution decision.

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