Pennsylvania couples whose marriages are ending know too well that there are many issues that need to be considered. If the couple has one or more children, then the matters will include the determination of legal and physical custody as well as the amount of child support to be paid. In other cases there may be a question of whether one party will be required to pay spousal support. One issue that is universal, however, is the determination of property division.
As is the case in the vast majority of states, Pennsylvania courts follow the principle of equitable distribution in making property division orders. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement regarding the division of marital assets and debts, then the court will make it for you, after you have gone through the hearing master process. There are many issues to consider in this regard, and the process can take far less time if you and your spouse are able to agree on most of the key issues.
It is important to understand that if the matter ends up being determined by a judge, equitable distribution does not necessarily result in an equal division of marital assets and liabilities, but rather what the judge deems to be “fair”. The judge will make its decision after a consideration of many factors, including any contributions one spouse may have made to the other’s business.
Some of the issues we can help you with include who should be entitled to stay in the marital home after the divorce has been concluded. If you or your spouse have any retirement plan interests, we can take these into account in negotiating a settlement agreement, keeping a close eye on the income tax considerations that are involved. You are invited to visit our property division page for further information on the services we can provide you.
Source: Rowe Law Offices, P.C., “Equitable Distribution Of Assets And Debts In Pennsylvania“, October 09, 2014