If you are facing divorce, one of your biggest worries may be how separating will impact your financial future. From figuring out who keeps the house to dividing bank accounts, investments or a family business, the decisions made during the divorce process may have a huge impact on your ability to support yourself and your children.
In Pennsylvania, if you and your spouse cannot come to a property division agreement on your own, the court may separate assets that the law considers marital property.
What assets are marital property?
In general, any assets that either you or your spouse obtained during your marriage likely became marital property under Pennsylvania law. This may include real estate and personal property like jewelry, furniture or vehicles as well as financial assets like stocks, bonds and retirement accounts.
How does the court divide marital property?
If your divorce goes to court, a judge may try to divide your marital property in a way that is equitable, but not necessarily equal. Rather than split assets 50/50, the court may award a larger portion to one party based on your individual and family circumstances. Factors that may impact a judge’s decision may include how long your marriage lasted, what standard of living you shared, your respective incomes and how much each of you contributed to the family monetarily and non-monetarily.
Like many American couples, you and your spouse may want to separate amicably and avoid the expense and uncertainty of going to court. However, it is still important to create an official legal agreement to ensure a fair division of assets, protect your share of the property and prevent future conflicts.