Pennsylvania law allows either party in a divorce action to request the court to equitably divide the marital property between the parties. Pennsylvania is not a 50/50 common law state. As such, it is important for anyone going through a divorce to retain counsel with experience in family law, divorce and in particular, the equitable division of marital property. The Martin Law Firm is a Montgomery County, PA family law firm that has assisted men and women with divorce and equitable distribution matters for over 15 years.
Marital Property in Pennsylvania
The importance of having an experienced lawyer on your side for equitable distribution of your marital property cannot be overstated. A lawyer can first help you identify the property that you own which would be considered marital property under the PA divorce code. This is important because ONLY marital property can be subject to an equitable division and distribution. If you own something that is not considered marital property under PA law, but your soon to be ex-spouse claims that it is marital property, you will want a lawyer to help you.
Generally, marital property is property that you and your spouse acquire during the marriage or the increase in value of any property that is not marital property from the date of the marriage up to the date of separation. Despite this general rule, there are other important factors to consider. For example, what if the parties disagree on the date of separation? The date of separation could have a significant impact on the value of the marital property to be divided. A lawyer can prove useful to you in these situations. Also, despite the general rule for determining marital property, there are exceptions. One common exception is an inheritance that a party receives during the marriage. An inheritance would not be marital property so long as you do not co-mingle the inheritance with marital property and other conditions are met. Again, a lawyer can assist you with these determinations too.
How does a court equitably divide marital property?
Since Pennsylvania law does not automatically entitle divorcing parties to a 50/50 split of the marital property, how do courts determine who gets what? Again, this is not a simple answer because courts are required to consider a number of relevant factors. Some of these factors are the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, employment and vocational skills of both parties, standard of living established during the marriage,and so on. Marital misconduct does not factor into this determination. Lawyers with experience in Montgomery County equitable distribution matters can discuss your particular situation and advise you on likely outcomes if your case were to proceed in court. Understanding your rights and likely outcomes can help you reach an amicable resolution with your spouse to avoid costly and time consuming court procedures.
Equitable Distribution | The Martin Law Firm
Many individuals contact us for answers. As you can see from the above, these matters are very detail oriented and fact specific. Many situations are similar, but they often involve unique characteristics so a “cookie-cutter” approach to equitable distribution matters is just not possible. For family law and divorce related matters, including equitable distribution, we offer a one (1) hour initial consultation in our office to discuss your circumstances and questions.
Call us today at 215-646-3980 to arrange a consultation at our office with a divorce and equitable distribution lawyer.