Berman & Asbel, LLP

What Pennsylvania residents should know about divorce

Whether a person is a movie star like Johnny Depp or just an everyday citizen looking to get a divorce, the process may be interestingly similar. For instance, it may force individuals to put their public life out in the open as well as open up their financial records for scrutiny. Moves such as selling or transferring property may also pique the interest of a judge overseeing the case.

In some instances, selling property may be a valid way of reducing the marital estate, which means there is less to divide with a spouse. However, if it violates a standing order from a judge or the goods are sold at less than market value, it could be seen as trying to skirt the law. In an equitable distribution state like Pennsylvania, assets generally belong to the person who earned them. In community property states, all marital property is considered equally owned by the two spouses.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to hold off on divorce until its ramifications on assets are clearly understood by all parties. Those who are considering divorce may also want to consider if it is feasible to pay their own bills again. For some, it may be easier to stay in a marriage to keep getting health benefits or delay the split until they are both ready to lead and pay for a single life.

The division of assets is often a contentious issue that may need to be addressed early one. Those who own businesses or expect a windfall in the future may want to have the assistance of an attorney in structuring a property division settlement agreement.

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