How are assets divided during a Pennsylvania divorce?
If you are a Pennsylvania resident about to begin the divorce process, you should become knowledgeable about the rules of asset division. The more familiar you are with them, the better equipped you will be to prepare to negotiate a beneficial divorce settlement.
In Pennsylvania, property acquired during marriage is considered marital property. As part of the division of property, these assets are divided equitably, which means in a fair and balanced manner, which might not always result in a 50-50 split. The way the division is reached by the judge is through consideration of the investment, financial or otherwise, made by each spouse to the marriage. An example is if one person acted as the stay-at-home spouse to take care of the family and did not contribute financially but contributed by doing the household chores, taking care of the children and supporting their other spouse.
Marital and separate property
In general, most property acquired during marriage is identified as marital property while that acquired before the marriage or agreed to in a prenup is considered separate property. Additionally, any individual gifts or inheritances received during the marriage are also considered separate property. Finally, assets acquired during the marriage but using funds earned before marriage might be considered separate as well.
Defining factors during the division of assets
There are several defining factors that the judge will consider with the goal of creating a fair division. These include:
• How long the marriage lasted
• The age of each spouse
• Each spouse’s ability to support themselves after divorce
• Each spouse’s current income and financial responsibilities
• Expected financial benefits such as pension plans
• Tax liabilities related to the division of property
The division of a couple’s assets during divorce will have a significant impact on their individual lives post-divorce. For this reason, it is important for each spouse to arrive well-prepared for negotiations.