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3 valuable assets that can complicate divorce negotiations

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Property Division |

The end of a marriage involves both emotional and practical issues. People often grieve their marriages, struggle with a sense of guilt and need to work through anger about what happened to their families. At the same time, they need to prepare to start living separately. After years of sharing income and combining resources to maintain one household, divorcing couples need to split up their property and potentially also divide their financial obligations.

Occasionally, couples have already established guidelines for property division by signing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Other times, they must negotiate economic matters as they prepare for divorce or litigate and have a judge divide their property. Certain assets, including the three below, are particularly likely to lead to disputes and complications during property division negotiations.

Real estate holdings

Many couples buy homes together and commit a large amount of marital income to the maintenance of those properties. Others may purchase vacation homes and investment properties. Real estate is often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. People preparing for divorce often disagree about who should stay in the home, how much it is worth and other issues related to real estate.

Businesses or professional practices

Maybe someone was already a successful professional when they got married, or perhaps they started a business with their spouse. A family-owned business can be a valuable asset and a source of income. Spouses may disagree about what the company is worth, who should continue working there and how to address the business in their property division settlement.

Retirement accounts and pensions

Many working adults make regular contributions to special savings accounts for years to put aside resources for retirement. Others may have employment benefits that help provide financial support during retirement. Pensions, 401(k)s and other retirement savings are often quite valuable. Spouses may also feel emotional about the prospect of dividing them because they rely on those savings for financial stability after retirement.

It can be very difficult for those preparing for divorce to gracefully and appropriately address resources that have a lot of financial or emotional value. Learning about Pennsylvania’s equitable distribution rules and identifying resources that matter to an individual’s long-term plan may benefit those concerned about a pending divorce. People who know what to expect during divorce may be less inclined than the average person to let emotions govern their conduct.