Berman & Asbel, LLP

Pennsylvania property division can be made difficult by debt

When a Pennsylvania couple prepares to divorce, one of the top concerns is how to fairly divide the marital assets. This is especially important given the expense of moving from one combined household to two separate entities. As couples prepare for this shift, both parties need to be able to form accurate budgets. The process of property division is essential in projecting where each spouse will stand financially following the split.

However, one financial advisor suggests that issues of property division are becoming more difficult than in previous years. Couples today carry far larger debt loads than in previous generations. That fact, combined with a sluggish economy and limited job market, leaves many couples in a very precarious financial position as they move toward divorce.

One issue to consider is which party will keep the house. The best case scenario is for the remaining spouse to have the mortgage refinanced in his or her name, which allows the other spouse to walk away free from any financial obligations in regard to the property. However, this is not always possible, and tightened lending guidelines can make it difficult to accomplish. In some cases it may be more advantageous to simply sell the home and split the proceeds.

These and other financial concerns demonstrate the need to make well-informed and forward-minded decisions during the divorce process. The effects of the property division choices made during divorce can have lasting ramifications for both parties, and should be handled carefully. For many Pennsylvania residents, securing sound financial guidance may be just as important as obtaining legal assistance.

Source:, "Hard times make divorce tougher," Tim Grant, Nov. 28, 2012

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