“What’s yours is mine and mine is yours” may work out well while you are married but it can become a real sticking point when you are getting divorced. When you are negotiating a marriage settlement agreement or going through divorce litigation it is important to understand Pennsylvania law on property division so you can make informed decisions.
Pennsylvania is an “equitable distribution” state for property division purposes. This means that the court will aim divide marital property in a manner that is fair even if it does not lead to an exact 50/50 split of property. The following are some factors the court may consider when determining what is fair.
Factors in property division
When determining how to divide marital property, the court may consider the following factors. One is how long the marriage lasted. A second is whether either spouse was previously married to someone else. In addition, the court may consider the spouses’ age, health, vocational skills, employability, the extent of the estate, any liabilities the spouses face and each party’s needs. Each spouse’s opportunity to acquire assets and income in the future may be considered, as may each spouse’s sources of income and job benefits.
Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate may be considered, including contributions as a homemaker. The standard of living the spouses enjoyed while married may be considered as may the economic circumstances of each spouse. Tax ramifications may be considered. Finally, whether a spouse will have custody of a child of the marriage may be considered.
Understand your property division rights
A fair property division resolution can be made in or out of court if all relevant factors are considered. It is important that you understand your rights when it comes to property division so you can make decisions that are in your best interests.