How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce?
In Pennsylvania, assets are divided one of two ways: by agreement of the parties, or by the court in the absence of an agreement by the parties. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court divides marital estates fairly. In some cases, this means the estate will be divided evenly, but in other cases, this means that a financially disadvantaged spouse could get more than 50 percent of the assets. States that do not follow equitable distribution rules are community property states, wherein marital estates are always divided in half. In Pennsylvania, the court considers a number of factors relevant to the division of marital property, such as length of marriage, prior marriage of the parties, estate liabilities, and the age, health, sources of income, vocational skills, employability, and financial needs of each party. The court will also consider whether one party contributed to the other’s education, training, or increased earning power, and therefore contributed to their ability to acquire future assets. All factors considered in the determination of the division of marital property in Pennsylvania are set forth in Section 3502 of the Pa. Divorce Code.
How Significant Is The Date Of Filing When It Comes To Separation Of Assets And Debts?
Only Marital assets and marital debt is subject to division. Marital assets and marital debt is partially defined as such assets and debts acquired or accumulated from date of marriage until date of separation. Often times, the date of separation is in dispute. Pennsylvania law allows for the filing of the divorce complaint to constitute the date of separation.
How Is Debt Divided In a Divorce In Pennsylvania?
Parties to a divorce can agree to divide the debt any way they want. In the absence of an agreement, the court will equitably or fairly divide the debt. In many cases, if a financially disadvantaged spouse is deemed to be entitled to 60 percent of the marital assets, then the party who is receiving 40 percent of the marital assets may be responsible for 60 percent of the marital debt.
How Can Someone Prepare For An Impending Divorce In Pennsylvania?
Prior to filing for divorce, it is important to gather financial documents and other sources of information pertaining to the bills, incomes, debts, and financial activities during the marriage. Spouses should have or try to obtain access to online records and accounts. The more information you have, the more informed you are! If there are joint accounts, consideration should be given to dividing up those accounts. Every situation is unique. Most people are not sure what to do. Speak to a lawyer who is there to help you and look out for your best interests.
For more information on Asset Division In A Divorce In Pennsylvania, a case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 750-9202 today.
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