Berman & Asbel, LLP

Which Assets Are Eligible For Division In A Pennsylvania Divorce?

If you are getting divorced, the division of property is probably high on your list of concerns. After all, no one wants to give up property, and having to split it with an ex can be particularly painful. However, dividing assets is an unavoidable aspect of every Pennsylvania divorce.

While you cannot avoid this process, you can make it a little easier on yourself by knowing what to expect. For instance, it can be helpful to know which property is eligible for distribution.

Marital property

In accordance with state equitable distribution laws, only property that is categorized as marital property will be eligible for distribution. Marital property includes property purchased or accumulated during the marriage, like the marital home, debts and money earned by either spouse. Home furnishings, cars and even pets are considered marital property as well.

Separate property

Separate property, on the other hand, generally will not be eligible for distribution. This is property that is owned by one spouse, either because he or she entered the marriage with it or because it was gifted only to that individual. Separate property typically includes inheritances, family heirlooms gifted to one person and other property owned by one person before the marriage.

Co-mingled assets

Things can get a little tricky when people co-mingle assets. This refers to the mixing of separate and marital assets. For instance, if you own a cabin before you get married, it would be separate property. However, it could become marital property if you use money from shared accounts to make improvements or pay the mortgage. 

Proper categorization crucial to getting a fair settlement

It is not always easy to know if property is separate or marital, and you should not guess or make assumptions. Proper categorization of property will have a considerable impact on your divorce settlement and what is considered fair, or equitable with regard to distribution. Because of this, it is vital that you thoroughly examine all assets with your attorney to get an understanding of what will be divided. 

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