Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets

Serving York, Adams, Lancaster, Cumberland, Dauphin & Lebanon Counties

 

Equitable Distribution - Division of PropertyOne of the areas of greatest concern during a divorce is the division of marital assets and debts. In Pennsylvania, this process is called equitable distribution. The goal is to make certain that both debts and assets are properly divided in such a manner as to be fair or “equitable.”

 

How are Marital Assets & Debts Divided in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is not a community property jurisdiction and marital property is not necessarily divided equally. In fact, an equal distribution of the marital estate is not even a starting point for purposes of dividing marital assets and debts.This means that division of marital assets can be an especially difficult part of a divorce. Without an aggressive family law attorney on your side, you could find yourself burdened with an unfair amount of debt and losing your fair share of assets.

Is it Marital Property?

A basic question that must be answered is whether the asset or debt is actually marital. Sometimes it is clear whether an asset was acquired during the marriage, but sometimes it is not. It is conceivable for assets to be acquired separately, but to experience a change in ownership due to how they are used during the marriage. In addition, if you are unable to prove that an asset is marital you could lose any claim to it. If you are unable to prove that a debt was acquired outside of the marriage, you could end up being liable for it.  Given this, it is very important that your divorce attorney be aggressive and have the knowledge and skills necessary to prove whether an asset (or debt) should be part of your marriage’s equitable distribution.

How is Equitable Distribution Determined?

Equitable distribution is controlled by the divorce code, which provides 13 factors that determine the division of marital property and debts. Depending on the circumstances, some of the factors may or may not be relevant to your situation. Hoffmeyer & Semmelman’s team of aggressive divorce attorneys will help you to understand the factors and how they apply to your circumstances.

The factors include:

  1. Length of marriage
  2. Prior marriages
  3. Income ability
  4. Contribution by one spouse to the education or increased earning power of the other
  5. Opportunity for future assets and income of each
  6. Sources of income for both spouses
  7. Contribution or dissipation of each spouse to marital property (including contribution as a homemaker)
  8. Value of property set apart to each spouse
  9. Standard of living during the marriage
  10. Economic circumstances that will exist at the time of the division
  11. Tax ramifications
  12. Cost of sale, transfer or liquidation of specific assets
  13. Whether one or both spouses will serve as custodian for dependent minor children

Whether these factors will impact your case depends on your specific situation. Each factor will be weighed as appropriate, and it will be your attorney’s job to help you to maximize the factors in your favor and minimize those which are harmful to you. If your case goes to trial, our attorneys will need to argue on your behalf to get you the best result possible.

Three Locations & Home Visits for Your Convenience

Our central Pennsylvania firm has offices in York, Shrewsbury and Mt Wolf. In addition, for your convenience, we offer home visits in York, Adams, Lancaster, Cumberland, Dauphin & Lebanon counties.

Contact Us to Protect Your Assets

Equitable distribution of property is a crucial and complicated part of a divorce. You want to make certain you receive your fair share of the final settlement. The best way to achieve this result is to retain our attorneys who will fight on your behalf, both in and out of family court. If you are contemplating or in the midst of a divorce, contact our lawyers today at 717-846-8846. We are available to help, even in the most complex of property distribution cases.

 

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Equitable Distribution - Marital Property & Debts in York, PA
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Equitable Distribution - Marital Property & Debts in York, PA
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Equitable distribution is how marital property and debts are divided. The right attorney will make all the difference during this process.
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