Harleysville Equitable Distribution Lawyers
Family Law Attorneys Provide Dedicated and Experienced Representation to Clients in Equitable Distribution Matters in Harleysville
Most married couples amass assets and liabilities during their marriage, such as the marital home, vehicles, investment and retirement accounts, and sentimental items like artwork or jewelry. Unfortunately, when couples divorce, dividing those assets and liabilities can easily become a complicated and contentious process. Every divorce requires an equitable distribution of the marital estate, which can be accomplished either through a settlement agreement between the spouses or through a division determined by the court.
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, as opposed to a community property state. Through equitable distribution, the assets and liabilities of a married couple are divided in a fair manner — this does not mean that the division will be exactly equal. Depending on the complexity and type of assets, equitable distribution may require spouses to obtain expert valuations or to change the legal title to assets.
The equitable distribution attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford can help you through the process of equitable distribution to achieve a division that meets your goals and protects your interests. We take the time to discuss your goals so that we know what assets you wish to retain for strategic financial reasons or for sentimental value. We know that it can be difficult to reach an equitable distribution agreement since both of you have your own separate goals for distribution and may not be ready to let-go of hard-earned assets.
Dividing Assets and Liabilities in Harleysville, PA Equitable Distribution Matters
Best case scenario, a divorcing couple is able to agree on how to divide their marital assets and liabilities. Therefore, they simply need to reduce their agreement to writing that will be adopted by the court. Equitable distribution usually affects assets such as:
- The marital home and other real estate
- Securities investments
- Retirement accounts, pensions, and other deferred compensation arrangements
- Insurance policies and annuities
- Household goods
- Business ownership interests owned by either spouse or co-owned by both spouses.
In addition to assets, equitable distribution also divides marital liabilities, which can include:
- Mortgages on the marital home or other co-owned real estate
- Car and vehicle loans
- Tax liabilities
- Credit card debt and other revolving debt, including that belonging to only one spouse if the debt was incurred to support the marriage and family
In all equitable distribution cases, separate property that is brought into the marriage by one spouse may be exempt from equitable distribution. Courts do not look at how an asset or liability is titled in determining whether it is marital or separate. Instead, courts examine when the asset was acquired or when the liability accrued, where they came from, and the purposes for which they were acquired or accrued.
Knowledgeable Equitable Distribution Attorneys Help Clients Through Asset Division in Divorce Cases
Equitable distribution can easily spark conflict between divorcing spouses, even when the spouses have agreed to end their marriage and want to move on with their lives. This is why it is critical for you to have an experienced, dedicated attorney who can help you manage the division of your marital estate. Our legal team is experienced in helping in all kinds of equitable distribution proceedings, including those where:
- The parties simply need to reduce their agreement to writing or need help retitling assets
- One spouse has attempted to wrongfully transfer or conceal assets
- A spouse’s separate property was used to purchase marital property or was commingled with marital property (for example, using an inheritance or family gift to purchase the marital residence)
- The complexity of marital property requires an expert valuation, such as with businesses or significant real estate
Importantly, a court is not interested in fault or marital misconduct when determining equitable distribution, unless that misconduct somehow affected marital assets or liabilities. For example, a spouse may conceal wrongful acts that diminished the value of a marital asset, like a business interest.
Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation to Discuss your Harleysville Equitable Distribution Case
The knowledgeable equitable distribution attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. strive to help each of our clients quickly and favorably resolve the division of assets in their divorce proceeding. If you are in the midst of trying to divide your assets and liabilities with your spouse in your divorce proceeding, contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options and how our legal team can help you secure an equitable distribution that is most favorable to you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Equitable Distribution in Harleysville, Pennsylvania
FAQ: What happens if my spouse and I are unable to agree on the division of certain assets or liabilities?
As a general matter, our equitable distribution attorneys work hard to help you achieve a fair and equitable agreement with your spouse when it comes to the distribution of your marital estate. However, in some cases, it simply is not possible for spouses to come to an agreement regarding how to divide certain assets or liabilities. Sometimes mediation helps foster an agreement between conflicted spouses. But if spouses decline to use mediation or when mediation fails, the court can provide a final determination of the equitable distribution question in your case. If equitable distribution comes before the court, our attorneys will vigorously advocate on your behalf to try to obtain the best possible result for you. However, the court will ultimately make a decision based upon its evaluation of your case.
FAQ: Should my spouse and I use the same attorney to reach an equitable distribution agreement?
It is not possible for you and your spouse to use the same attorney in your equitable distribution proceeding. This arrangement would pose a conflict of interest for the attorney since you and your spouse have adverse interests. Attorneys are ethically required to act in their client’s best interest. Therefore, it is simply not possible for an attorney to act in the best interest of two parties who are technically adverse to one another. It is always advisable to have your own attorney during equitable distribution and throughout your divorce proceeding who will advocate for your goals and fight to protect your interests and rights.