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What does the court consider when dividing marital property?

When a Pennsylvania couple gets a divorce, one of the biggest issues that must be settled is how to divide assets, decide who will get the marital home and other aspects of how to transfer property. That which was accrued during the marriage will frequently be in dispute. To have a baseline as to how this is settled, there is a general rule for the equitable division of this property that the spouses should understand as the process moves forward. When the property is divided, marital misconduct is not considered. The court will decide what is fair after the relevant factors have been considered.

The factors that are considered are: how long the couple was married; if either party was married previously; how old the people are; what their health is; their current station; what their sources of income are; if they have any vocational skills; if they are employable; their estate; their liabilities; what their needs are; and if there was a contribution from one party to the other for education, training or assisting with increased earning power.

Also factored in are: if the parties have the chance to acquire capital assets or income in the future; what the sources of income are for both with medical coverage, retirement accounts, insurance and benefits; how much each party has contributed or dissipated in acquiring, preserving, depreciation or appreciation of the property from the marriage with the contribution one might have made as a homemaker; what the value of the property set apart for the parties is; what the standard of living during the marriage was; what the couple's economic situation is at the time the division is done; if there are tax ramifications with the assets; if there is a cost to sell, transfer or liquidate an asset; and if the party will be given custody of minor children.

Couples whose marriage is ending will have a great number of issues to sift through. Oftentimes, there are children involved and they will be the most important considerations. However, the property division is also imperative. When determining how marital property will be divided, having the right information can be beneficial in dealing with these legal matters.

Source: legis.state.pa.us, "3502. Equitable division of marital property. (a) General rule.," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
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