Equitable Distribution in a High-Asset Divorce
Divorce can be a very difficult process to endure. Things get even more complex when a couple has lots of property, a business, or high-expense items that need to be divided. The state of Pennsylvania does not enforce a 50/50 split of assets in a divorce, so the task of deciding who gets what can be stressful. Each spouse gets a portion of the marital assets based on his or her unique situation. For example, the spouse that receives sole/primary custody of the children may receive an increased portion of marital assets.
What Is Equitable Distribution?
Equitable distribution is the fair division of marital property in a divorce. Marital property is anything that was purchased or income that was made during the marriage. It is important to understand that even personal property purchased during a marriage is still considered marital property. For example, if you purchased a car in your name only during your marriage it is still considered marital property and will be included in the equitable distribution phase of your divorce.
How Do the Courts Divide Assets?
If there were infidelities or abuse in the marriage, the judge could order the offending spouse to pay penalty fees to the victimized spouse. There are many factors that go into determining who is more deserving of each asset. These are some of the factors the court considers:
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and physical/mental health of each spouse
- Economic circumstances of each spouse
- Sources of income/potential earnings
- Contributions from one spouse to the other (Example: if one spouse paid for the other’s education or training)
- Benefits and insurance polices
- Current value of all marital property
- Contributions of one spouse as a homemaker
- Standard of living
- Tax consequences for distribution of assets
- Child custody
As we stated earlier, high-asset divorce is far more complex. The last thing you want to happen is to lose out on property that should continue to belong to you after the divorce. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we have over 25 years of experience working with family law cases. Give us a call at (610) 645-0100 for a free consultation and we will go over your options and help you understand what to expect during this difficult situation.