Divorcing couples in Pennsylvania must decide how they want to divide up the marital assets including the marital home, retirement accounts, household items, and the like. This process includes identifying the marital v. non-marital assets, valuing the assets and then equitably dividing the marital assets. If the divorcing couple cannot agree on an equitable division of the assets, then the case is usually turned over to a Master, who will make a recommendation for how the assets should be divided. If either spouse does not agree with the Master’s recommendation, then the case will be tried before a Judge.
Making a case for equitable division of assets involves several factors such as the length of the marriage, sources of income of both parties, value of non-marital property, the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage, etc. Equitable division and distribution generally involve financial considerations and the economic impact on each spouse. However, what happens when a marital asset is worth more than any monetary value – say Eagles season tickets?
In the case of Papadeas-Minnigh v. Minnigh, C.P. Blair County, No. 2002 GN 2358 (C.C.P. 2006), aff’d 935 A.2d 33 (Pa. Super. 2007), a divorcing husband and wife fought over who was entitled to keep the two Steelers season tickets. Husband argued that he should get to keep them because he testified that he was the one who purchased the tickets. Wife argued that she should be awarded the tickets because she testified that she was a bigger fan. Wife also argued that they should each get one ticket.
The Court agreed with the Master’s recommendation. The Master concluded that the tickets should remain together, because they are easier to use as a pair than separately. The Master also concluded that the pair of tickets should remain with the Husband since he was the one who purchased them.
This case is a good illustration that sometimes a marital asset can have more value to a person than just monetary value, whether its functional value, social value, or psychological value. Unfortunately, sometimes the decision on who is entitled to a particular asset is not so clear. And in the case of Eagles season tickets, who wouldn’t want to fight to keep them?
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To learn more about Pennsylvania divorce law or the next steps to take, call or contact The Martin Law Firm at 215-687-4053 to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney who can provide initial guidance and information