Equitable Distribution Lawyers in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Experienced Equitable Distribution Attorneys Provide Successful Legal Representation to Blue Bell, PA Clients
Pennsylvania divorce law requires equitable distribution of a divorcing couple’s assets and liabilities. Under equitable distribution, assets and liabilities are divided in a manner that is “fair” but does not necessarily have to be “equal”. In the best cases, divorcing couples reach an agreement on how to divide their marital assets and liabilities. However, most divorce cases are not ideal, and many couples frequently engage in contentious disputes over the distribution of marital assets and liabilities, especially when a couple has been married for a long time.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., our knowledgeable Blue Bell equitable distribution attorneys know that equitable distribution is among the most important issues facing a divorcing couple, especially when hard-won assets must be split with a soon-to-be former spouse. Our attorneys take the time and care to fully account for you and your spouse’s assets and liabilities. We fight to protect your rights and advance your interests throughout the equitable distribution process.
Dividing Marital Assets and Liability During Equitable Distribution
Under Pennsylvania law, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities takes into account a number of factors — however, it does not consider whether one party was at fault for the divorce. So for example, you cannot seek a more favorable equitable division simply due to your spouse’s infidelity. Instead, courts consider some of the following factors when calculating an equitable distribution:
- Length of the marriage
- The respective income of each spouse
- The earning capacities of each spouse
- Any child custody arrangement
- The age and health of each spouse
- Whether either spouse has alimony or child support obligations from prior marriages
- The effect of non-marital assets (inheritances, etc.) on a spouse’s standard of living
- Contributions of one spouse to the other’s education or career advancement
- Tax issues
- Any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements dictating the division of assets
Only marital assets are subject to equitable distribution. Non-marital assets cannot be distributed between the parties, although they can be taken into account during equitable distribution. This is done to ensure that the parties have a roughly fair opportunity to enjoy the same or similar standards of living in divorce. Categories of non-marital property include:
- Property brought into the marriage by one spouse
- Inherited property or gifts received by one spouse, even if received during the marriage
- Property specified as separate property in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
- Any property acquired by a spouse following the couple’s separation
However, complications over non-marital property typically arise when one spouse uses their separate, non-marital property for marital purposes, such as a spouse using an inheritance or gift to purchase the marital home. When non-marital assets are commingled with marital assets, those non-marital assets may transform into marital assets and become subject to equitable distribution.
Aggressive Divorce Attorneys Fight to Obtain Favorable Equitable Distributions for Clients in Blue Bell, PA
Depending on the complexity of a married couple’s assets or the length of their marriage, equitable distribution can become a complicated process and create considerable strife between a divorcing couple. Our results-focused Blue Bell equitable distribution attorneys can help walk you through the equitable distribution process and will fight to ensure that you receive an equitable distribution that serves your goals and interests. Any successful equitable distribution will first require a full accounting of your and your spouse’s assets, both marital and non-marital. In some cases, certain assets, such as businesses or real property, may require expert appraisal or valuation.
Examples of marital assets include:
- The marital home
- Real estate purchased during the marriage
- Investment portfolios
- Retirement assets and pensions
- Life insurance and annuities
- Household goods
- Business interests
In addition to dividing marital assets, equitable distribution also seeks to divide marital liability. Marital liabilities can include mortgages on the marital home and other co-owned property, car loans, and tax obligations incurred during the marriage. Credit card debt is also a marital liability, even if the card is in only one spouse’s name, so long as the debt was incurred during the marriage for the household’s or family’s purposes.
Contact Our Knowledgeable Equitable Distribution Attorneys Today to Schedule a Consultation
The Blue Bell equitable distribution lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. have the knowledge and experience to successfully advocate on your behalf during the equitable distribution process. We make a point to understand what your goals and interests are for equitable distribution, including identifying assets that are important or have sentimental value. We also strive to discover whether your spouse may have attempted to conceal assets from the equitable distribution process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options and about how we can help you secure the most favorable result possible in your equitable distribution proceeding.
Frequently Asked Questions about Equitable Distribution in Blue Bell, PA
Our equitable distribution attorneys will vigorously argue against the inclusion of any property that was separately owned by you prior to your marriage. If necessary, we work with accountants and financial experts to trace the source of funds and use of funds during marriage to establish that any assets that were separately owned by you prior to your marriage were not commingled with marital assets and therefore subject to equitable distribution.
The exact answer will largely depend on factors including how long you were married and how long you both lived in the home together. In some cases, the court may rule that a portion of the value of the home is marital property that is subject to equitable distribution but that you retain another portion of the value as your separate property not subject to distribution. Of course, other factors come into play when deciding whether one spouse can have physical possession and/or ownership of the home, such as whether one spouse has primary physical custody of any children of the marriage who continue to live in the home.