Hatfield Equitable Distribution
Skilled Equitable Distribution Lawyers Effectively Represent Clients in Division of Assets in Divorce
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that when a couple divorces in Hatfield, any marital assets will be divided between the parties according to a system that is perceived as “fair”, rather than what is necessarily “equal”. In the ideal case, you and your spouse would reach a settlement agreement as to how marital assets will be divided and move forward. Most divorce cases do not present an ideal scenario, however, and disputes frequently arise when the equitable distribution of marital assets comes into play—especially for spouses who have been married for a long period of time.
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At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our experienced Hatfield equitable distribution lawyers know that the stakes are high when you are dividing your hard-earned assets with a former spouse. We conduct a full accounting of marital assets and liabilities in every case and will work tirelessly to protect your rights, assets, and goals throughout the equitable distribution process.
Equitable Distribution: Dividing the Marital Assets and Liabilities Between Spouses in Divorce
Division of assets in a Hatfield divorce takes into account all relevant factors in the case but does not depend upon whether one party was technically at fault for the divorce. Courts will consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors:
- Length of the marriage,
- Income of each spouse,
- Earning potential of each spouse,
- Child custody arrangements,
- The age and health of the spouses,
- Any prior marriages and divorces,
- Impact of non-marital assets on a spouse’s standard of living,
- Contributions by one spouse to advance the other spouse’s earning potential,
- Any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements dictating the division of certain assets.
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Only marital assets are typically subject to the equitable distribution rules. Property that is classified as separate property includes:
- Property brought into the marriage by one spouse,
- Inherited property and any gifts received by one spouse, even if received during the marriage,
- Property that is specified as the separate property of one spouse in a prenuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement,
- Any property acquired by one spouse after separation.
Complications can arise to require equitable distribution of separate property when the property has increased in value during the marriage or if one spouse uses the separate property for common marital purposes throughout the marriage. For example, if a spouse draws upon his or her inheritance to purchase the marital home, that separate property may arguably become marital property subject to division in a divorce.
Results-Driven Divorce Lawyers Fight for Favorable Asset Distribution Arrangements in Divorce Cases
Equitable distribution can become extremely complex, and in cases where the spouses have been married for a significant amount of time, can also create significant tensions. Our results-oriented equitable distribution lawyers are here to help break down the process so that we can fight to reach a property settlement agreement that best satisfies your goals. Every equitable distribution battle should begin with a full accounting of your assets, both marital and separate. In many cases, expert appraisals may be required to establish the monetary value of any given asset. Marital assets may include:
- The marital home,
- Real estate and property holdings,
- An investment portfolio,
- Retirement assets and pensions,
- Life insurance and annuities,
- Household goods,
- Business interests.
Equitable distribution in a Hatfield divorce also must account for financial liabilities, in addition to simply dividing the assets. Marital liabilities include mortgages, car loans and tax obligations incurred during the marriage. Credit card debts are also the responsibility of each spouse even if the credit card was only in one spouse’s name, so long as the relevant debt was incurred during the marriage.
Call Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Our Experienced Equitable Distribution Lawyers
Our Hatfield equitable distribution lawyers have the experience and skills necessary to advocate for the most advantageous arrangement possible in your case. We take the time to understand your goals, including whether any assets have sentimental value or higher priority in your case, and will work tirelessly to uncover any assets that your spouse may attempt to conceal in order to prevent a fair equitable distribution. Call us today, or send us a message through our convenient online contact form, to discuss your case with our experienced lawyers if you are considering a divorce in Hatfield or elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
Frequently Asked Questions About Equitable Distribution in Divorce Cases
Our equitable distribution lawyers have the resources necessary to argue against inclusion of separate property in the marital asset pool in any number of ways depending upon the circumstances and your spouse’s rationale. We consult with accountants and financial experts who work to trace the source of funds and use of those funds during the marriage, which can provide the evidence necessary to establish that your own separate assets were not commingled with marital assets so as to become subject to division.
In this case, the exact results will, of course, vary according to how long you were married and lived in the home, and other factors present in your specific situation. In some cases, the courts will decide that a portion of the home constitutes your own separate, personal property, but that your spouse is also entitled to a portion of the home value as marital property. If the home appreciated in value during the marriage, that appreciation may be considered marital property subject to equitable distribution. If one spouse will have custody of minor children who have lived in the home, this can also impact whether that spouse is entitled to live in the marital home after the divorce. In contentious cases, division of the assets can come down to asset valuation, rather than the items themselves. Our equitable distribution lawyers can provide more specific advice taking all circumstances of your case into account.