As many divorced couples in Pennsylvania might corroborate, one of the most contentious issues during a divorce is property division. In large part, that is because assets include not only present financial assets and real property but also retirement accounts, digital accounts and even some unexpected things like pets. It is important to consider each of these areas while dissolving a marriage so that your property rights are protected.
Property division affects divorcing couples from all social situations. Whether you are raising a family or do not have any children, issues such as real estate, pensions, family businesses and tax responsibilities can create a tangled web of financial details that require sorting out. It may be important to distinguish your personal assets from marital assets, which can be exceedingly challenging with a large estate or after a long marriage.
There are several considerations that might exacerbate the difficulty associated with the property division process. For instance, you may be dealing with a spouse who has effectively and surreptitiously concealed assets, the implications of which might lower your end of the settlement. You may be concerned about the enforcement of a prenuptial agreement. In complicated situations like these, legal counsel can provide indispensable counsel.
In many cases, both parties in a divorce wish to limit the involvement of a court. If so, lawyers can work to help their clients in reaching an acceptable agreement by employing alternative dispute resolution methods. However, a solid understanding of marital property division issues and rights is important, if only so that you do not agree to terms that are lopsided or unfair. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a settlement must be fair.
As you approach a divorce settlement, it may be helpful to formulate an overview of your current financial standings as a couple and individually. It may also be helpful to discuss concerns with legal counsel, who may review things like credit accounts and other liabilities. Visit our marital property division page for additional information.
Source: Berman & Asbel, LLP, "Philadelphia Marital Property Division Lawyers", November 06, 2014