Is Pennsylvania a 50/50 Property Division State?
If you are preparing for a divorce in Pennsylvania, you may have questions about how your property will be divided and what you will get to keep.
In Pennsylvania, courts use “equitable distribution” rules to fairly divide marital assets and debts. It’s important to note that “equitable” and “fair” do not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Rare is the case in which a court is able to look at an entire collection of marital assets and debts and divide everything completely down the middle.
Marital property is any asset or property acquired during the course of your marriage, with exceptions such as gifts or inheritances and certain types of benefits that were clearly meant for just one person to receive. Examples of marital property include homes, retirement accounts, investments, furniture and vehicles.
Courts also divide debts incurred during a marriage. These marital debts may include credit card debt, loans and mortgages.
Factors considered in equitable distribution
If the state does not divide assets and debts 50/50 during the divorce process, what factors will the court consider during the asset distribution process? Common factors include the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Whether either spouse had a previous marriage
- The age, health and income of each spouse
- Whether either spouse has significant and/or valuable nonmarital assets, including any assets that may be excluded from the distribution process due to a prenuptial agreement
- The standard of living the spouses enjoyed during the marriage
- Tax consequences of awarding a spouse with a particular asset
- The contributions of one spouse to another to increase that person’s earning potential
- Whether either spouse will serve as the primary custodian of minor children
For further guidance on the factors a Pennsylvania court will consider when dividing marital assets, speak with a trusted Bucks County divorce attorney at The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney & Associates, P.C.