Although prenuptial agreements present a legal tool for establishing ownership of assets between married people in the event of a divorce, not all Pennsylvania couples with asset protection concerns have one. Other legal options, however, enable a person about to enter marriage to establish that certain assets, like real estate and businesses, are non-marital assets.
An artist who creates a new work generally owns the copyright to that work. This means that the artist alone can make money from it in the future. However, in a divorce case, any copyrights owned by the artist may need to be shared with the other spouse. In some cases, this means agreeing to put a value on work produced during the marriage whether it is up for sale or not.
In many cases, a Pennsylvania couple who is divorcing will own a home which they purchased after they were married. Even in cases in which the mortgage of a house that was purchased after marriage only lists one person, the home will still be considered marital property and thus subject to division.
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.
When it comes to settling a divorce, Pennsylvania is an "equitable distribution" state. This does not mean that in the process of a divorce the marital property is divided equally. Rather, the marital property is separated based on what is considered fair by the Court of Common Pleas. Because this is a subjective exercise, the court takes numerous factors into consideration before making this decision.
Pennsylvania couples going through a divorce have several issues to resolve throughout the divorce process. Property division is often a part of the divorce that can quickly turn acrimonious. Spouses may feel entitled to certain items acquired before or during the marriage. If either spouse owned a business during the marriage, there are more items to discuss.
As Pennsylvania residents who follow social trends know, the American divorce rate for older couples has jumped from mere 2 percent of divorced individuals 50 and over in 1960 to between 11 and 15 percent in 2010. This age-specific evolution changes the asset dynamics of a divorce. Retirement accounts are an increasingly important part of asset division. In one study, almost one-third of divorcing adults were unaware they could claim part of their spouse's retirement account and did not do so.
Divorce is not easy. There is no getting around that fact and there will be many people in Reading who will rely heavily on their support systems as they start, continue and end the divorce process. What can make the divorce process particularly difficult, however, is having one or both spouses refuse to cooperate. One way for divorces to go more smoothly is for both spouses to be open and honest, which can be difficult if dishonesty is what led to the end of the marriage.
One of the most difficult issues that can arise when successful couples divorce is the division of property. The main asset types for property division include real estate, retirement funds and benefits, business and professional practice valuations, investments, stock options, life insurance policies, intellectual property, inheritances, trusts and additional property items of value. In all of the arrangements made splitting up material items during divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania, the retirement assets often get lost in the assortment.
Anyone in Reading who has gone through a divorce can tell you that it isn't easy. Not only can some spouses be vindictive or even just uncooperative, but it can also be emotional to end a marriage, even if you were the one who initiated the divorce. While many people in Pennsylvania may think that the easiest part of divorce will be the property division, they would be sorely mistaken. Even though Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that property will be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally, it is how the property is divided that causes the most trouble.