Montgomery County PA Property Division Lawyer
Of all the decisions that need to be made during a divorce, property division can be one of the most difficult. No matter what circumstances are involved in your divorce, pursuing fair property division is vital for ensuring a better future for you and your children. By doing so, you will have the best chance at moving forward and protecting your rights, well-being, and chance at a fulfilling life.
With a call to the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., at (866) 290-9292, you can receive a no-cost consultation on your rights with a Pennsylvania divorce property division lawyer. The information you gain concerning your unique case will help you avoid the mistakes that many uninformed divorcees make concerning their property.
Understanding Equitable Distribution in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is designated as an "equitable distribution" state, but what does this mean for your divorce?
In this case, "equitable" means fair, not even. So property will not necessarily be divided half and half between the two parties involved. Judges will take several factors into consideration when making decisions on what will be done with property; including marriage length, age of divorcees, sources and amount of income, previous marriages, property value, standards of living, taxes, effects on children, and more.
Anyone going into a divorce should understand how these factors can impact the decisions regarding your property. Gathering evidence and having clear goals will help you find success in your case and preserve the property that is most important to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What Properties Are Affected?
All property that was bought after you were married is considered "marital property" and is to be divided. This may even include property bought after a separation, as you were still married during this time. However, if the property acquired after the date of separation was obtained using non-marital funds, then it is not considered to be a marital asset.
Marital property also includes job-related finances and other materials: retirement plans, stocks, bonds, annuities, pensions, and more. These may be given fully to one person or split between the exes.
2) What Happens to Debt?
Debt is treated slightly different than assets. All debt incurred during the marriage is considered marital debt and would be split between the two parties unless one spouse can show that it is reasonable to assign the full responsibility of a debt to the other spouse. Any debts accumulated before the marriage by one person will not be considered martial debt, and that person will be fully responsible for paying them. The only time debt made before the marriage can be considered marital debt is if the debt was made to contribute to the marriage. For example, loans for wedding costs could be considered marital debt even though they were incurred prior to the marriage.
3) Who Gets the House?
A house is one of the most fought-about properties in a divorce. It’s understandable, because no one wants to leave the place they call home. If there are children involved, the courts don’t want them to be uprooted from their normal routine if it can be avoided. The parent who does the majority of the child-rearing will be awarded the family home in most cases.
If there are no children involved and the home was purchased during the marriage, then the courts will use equitable distribution to determine who it will be awarded to. Not all property has to be directly given to one person or the other. Houses can be sold and the profits split between the former spouses.
If the home was purchased prior to marriage, then the home has a good chance of going to that person, and the other person would have to vacate. However, neither party has the right to kick the other out of the house until it is decided by the court. If you have been wrongfully removed from your home, you can take legal action against your spouse.
4) What About the Jewelry?
High-end items are divided by the value of items, rather than each item itself. For example, a judge may allow a person to keep all of his or her jewelry, but offset the value by awarding other high-value items to the other spouse. If there aren’t similarly valuable items, the judge may order that some of the jewelry be sold and split the proceeds between the two spouses. The same is true for artwork, antiques, collections, and other valuables.
A Montgomery County Attorney Dedicated to Your Needs
The decisions made concerning property and finances will have a long-lasting effect on the lives of both parties involved in a divorce. If you are entering into a divorce, do not leave your future well-being up to chance. Call Montgomery County divorce attorney Sheryl R. Rentz and begin working toward a better future today. A free consultation is available by calling (866) 290-9292 and can start you off with the information you need to take the right steps in your divorce case.
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