How Will My Martial Property Be Divided In Pennsylvania?
GOING THROUGH OR ANTICIPATING A DIVORCE AND WORRIED ABOUT HOW YOUR MARITAL PROPERTY WILL BE DIVIDED? YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED AND PROVEN HARRISBURG DIVORCE ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS?
WE CAN HELP!!! CALL US NOW AT 717-737-3300 FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION INTIAL CONSULTATION.
Divorce is a very stressful and emotional event for anyone who has ever been through the experience. When spouses divorce they are confronted with complicated issues such as how will marital assets and debts be divided, who will remain in the marital home, how will custody of children born to the spouses be arranged, and how to transition to living apart after getting accustomed to a lifestyle together. Our experienced Harrisburg divorce attorneys understand what you are going through, and stand ready to help you navigate the complex legal process of divorce while you deal with this emotional and stressful event in your life. One serious question we are asked by clients who are anticipating or going through a divorce is how will their marital property and debt be divided.
WHAT DOES EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY MEAN?
In a Pennsylvania divorce, marital property is equitably distributed between the spouses. Simply put, equitable distribution means that marital property will be divided “fairly” between the parties. It is important to understand that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean that the property will be split equally or 50/50. In community property states, marital property is divided equally among spouses. However, in Pennsylvania, it is possible for marital property to be split 60/40 or even 80/20 between spouses.
ALL MARITAL PROPERTY IS SUBJECT TO EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION
Marital property is all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage and any increase in value of non-marital property. In Pennsylvania, it is presumed that all property acquired during the marriage is marital even if only one spouse has title to the property. For example, a home that was purchased by a husband during the marriage and titled in his name only is still considered marital property in Pennsylvania. Also, if, for example, a home was purchased prior to the marriage by a wife (non-marital property) but appreciates in value by $200,000 during the marriage, the $200,000.00 in appreciated value is marital property and subject to equitable distribution.
FACTORS COURTS CONSIDER IN EQUITABLY DIVIDING MARITAL PROPERTY
When deciding how to equitably divide marital property, courts are required to consider a list of factors before entering a judgment for the equitable division of property. There is no set weight to give to these factors, and the court is free to give whatever weight it deems appropriate to the factors. Some of the factors a court considers in equitable division include:
- the length of the marriage
- the age, health, station, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties
- the contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party
- the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- the contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as a homemaker
- whether either spouse be serving as a custodian of any minor children
- the sources of income of both parties, including medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS
While divorce can be a very stressful and costly process, you may be able to alleviate some of the stress of divorce by negotiating with your spouse on how to fairly divide marital property through a marital settlement agreement. A marriage settlement agreement (“MSA”) is a binding written contract between spouses that can address issues like division of property and debts, child custody, alimony, alimony pendent lite, and attorneys-fees. Our experienced divorce lawyers can assist you in negotiating with your spouse and arriving at a settlement that is fair to you, saving you the emotional and financial toll that a divorce trial will bring.
Although we are committed to exploring settlement as a first option for our clients to resolve disputes over division of marital property, our divorce attorneys are always prepared to zealously litigate on your behalf in a courtroom to ensure that your rights are protected and your marital property is divided in a manner that is fair to you.
At the Law Office of Roy Galloway, to ensure the most favorable outcome for our clients, we work diligently and fight vigorously to highlight all your unique circumstances that are relevant to the factors used by courts for equitable division of property.
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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER….CALL (717) 737-3330 TO SPEAK TO A KNOWLEDGEABLE
AND EXPERIENCED DIVORCE LAWYER WHO WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR RIGHTS AND FIGHT FOR YOU.
If you are going through or contemplating a divorce, you need an experienced and trusted divorce lawyer on your side. We offer free 45-minute initial consultations and there is no obligation to retain us.
Call the Law Offices of Roy Galloway, LLC at (717) 737-3300 to get your free no-obligation consultation or use the contact forms on this page to set up an appointment with an aggressive divorce lawyer.