What Is Considered Marital Property?
Marital property is considered to be the property and debts acquired during a marriage, and prior to the parties separating. Non-marital property could be property acquired prior to the marriage, as well as property acquired through an inheritance, or from a third party, during the marriage and remains separately titled. It can also be property that you received in exchange for a non-marital asset.
To accurately divide marital property, your attorney, or the Court, needs to distinguish your assets and debts by understanding which property belongs to the marriage and which property belongs to you or your spouse individually. Common types of marital property can include your primary home, other real estate, retirement funds, investment accounts, dividends, businesses, and debt.
Know Your Rights Regarding Property Division
In Pennsylvania marital property is equitably distributed. This means that the Court is mandated to divide your property in a fair way based on a set of factors, as opposed to purely distributing it evenly. Under this Pennsylvania statute, the distribution does not have to be equal to be considered fair.
If you and your spouse, however, are able to work together on a marital settlement agreement with your attorney, you will be able to choose how you would like your property to be divided. At Repko Law, LLC, our family law attorneys encourage the use of a marital settlement agreement whenever possible to help ensure that your best interests are protected as you move forward in the next phase of your life.
Factors Considered by the Court When Dividing Property in PA
If you and your spouse do not utilize a marital settlement agreement, or if there are certain assets in dispute, the court will divide your property under the Pennsylvania statute of equitable distribution. Upon distinguishing your assets as property that belongs to the marriage and property that belongs to you and your spouse individually, the Court will take a number of factors into consideration. Factors considered in the equitable distribution of property include
- The length of the marriage
- Any prior marriage of either party
- The value of the property set apart to each party
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property will become effective
- Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children
- The sources of income of both parties such as medical, retirement, insurance, or other benefits
- The contribution by one party to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other
- The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
- The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker
- The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each party
As experienced family law attorneys serving Bucks County and Montgomery County, we would like to provide you with skilled legal representation as you begin the difficult matter of dividing your marital estate. In addition, if your estate has a a high net worth, , the lawyers at Repko Law, LLC stand ready to handle the intricacies that will ensure your financial viability. Contact us today for assistance with your property division negotiations, agreements or litigation.