What to Think About When Filing for Divorce
Making the decision that a divorce is necessary or desirable is not done lightly. It has probably taken you a great deal of time and considerable anguish to get to that point. However, even more decision-making and careful preparation lie ahead. There are basic steps that you should take at the onset of the divorce process. The most important of these is to make an assessment of your current financial situation.
You should collect and organize your financial records. These include all documents relating to investments, real property owned and business interests and also of debts such as credit cards, mortgages and lines of credit. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property will be divided in a manner considered fair to both sides, based on multiple factors. Generally speaking, marital property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, except for gifts and inheritances. However, if property, such as a business, was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, any appreciation in value to that business during the marriage becomes marital property.
For high-asset couples, the analysis and distribution of assets is even more complex. Marital property might include real estate, trusts, pensions and shares in privately held businesses. It may be necessary to have professional appraisers determine their value of these assets or their appreciated value during the marriage.
Your first step towards achieving your goals during divorce is to choose a capable and experienced lawyer. At The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney & Associates, P.C., we provide caring counsel, sound advice and effective representation. To discuss your case with a skilled and empathetic Bucks County divorce attorney, call 215.493.3360 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.