Dividing marital assets and liabilities in a divorce can be a difficult, challenging process wrought with financial concerns and clouded by emotions. It is helpful to understand the property division laws in Pennsylvania, so that you can make wise, sound decisions as you transition into your next phase of life.
Marital assets are divided equitably in Pennsylvania between the two divorcing spouses. This does not mean that assets, property, and liability are divided evenly. It means that they are divided fairly between both spouses. Additionally, the courts in Pennsylvania will take into consideration the contributions, both financial and otherwise by each of the divorcing partners.
Asset valuations, or discerning the value of involved assets, are determined in most situations at the time the asset is being divided.
General Points to Consider With Equitable Division
Length of marriage, degree of education, and age of divorcing spouses are all factors that the courts take into account when determining how to divide property. Additionally, the health, ability to earn a living, and the standard of living that has been the status quo of the marriage are all taken into account.
Pensions that will be subject to equitable property division include the amount that was acquired during the time of the marriage up to the separation, in most cases. In some cases, disability pensions may not be considered as marital property.
Gifts and Inheritances
Those gifts and/or inheritances that were given specifically to one spouse during the marriage will generally not be subject ot marital division. Again, it will depend on the specifics of your individual situation.
Sacrifice of Spouse
Here the question becomes whether one spouse did give up a potentially lucrative career to support the other spouse in his or her career efforts or to provide a stable home for the children. If one spouse did sacrifice in manners like these, the sacrifice can potentially be compensated for and monetized upon division of property.
Custodial Parent and Children’s Financial Needs
This issue becomes especially important when a divorce involves a special needs child or a child with serious health problems.
Agreements like these could have excluded some assets, including a business, from property division.
Although indeed troubling, misconduct does not impact equitable distribution in Pennsylvania.
Talk Your Situation Over With a Family Law Attorney – Abington, PA
In any divorce proceeding, equitable division can become a difficult, upsetting process. Having an experienced family law attorney who knows how to protect your rights and help you understand consequences of your decisions can make a world of difference in how you proceed with your life after the divorce. Contact the Abington law firm of Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates or call (215) 886-1266 to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. We represent clients throughout Southwestern PA.