Equitable Distribution Lawyers Souderton, PA
Our Equitable Distribution Attorneys Provide Experienced and Results-Focused Legal Representation to Clients Throughout the Souderton Area
Dividing marital assets and liabilities in a divorce can be a complicated and contentious process. A divorcing couple can either agree to a division of assets and liabilities in a property settlement agreement or can leave the matter up to the court to decide. Pennsylvania divorce laws require the courts to engage in equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities. However, it should be noted that “equitable” distribution simply means a fair distribution of assets and liabilities, rather than an equal split. Couples who have significant and complex assets may need to obtain valuation services on the assets. Legal title to assets may need to be changed to effect an equitable distribution ordered by the court.
The family attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford can help guide you through the process of equitable distribution, working to ensure your goals and interests are protected. We spend the time to get to know what assets are most important to you, including those that have a sentimental or strategic value to you. We understand the tension between wanting to achieve an agreement over the division of assets and liabilities between you and your spouse and the emotional difficulty of letting go of things that you have worked hard to achieve. That is why we are here to guide you to a fair equitable distribution that preserves your most important goals and interests.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets and Liabilities in Souderton Divorce Cases
In the best of cases, a divorcing couple is able to fully agree on how to divide marital assets and liabilities between themselves and simply needs the court to reduce their agreement into an enforceable order. It is important to remember that equitable distribution only affects marital assets. Separate property that a spouse brings into the marriage may be exempt from equitable distribution; however, that separate property can lose its exempt character if it is later maintained with marital assets or otherwise commingled with the marital estate (such as using marital funds to maintain an income property one spouse owned before the marriage). On the other hand, assets that are typically marital in nature and therefore subject to equitable distribution include:
- Real estate acquired during the marriage
- Investment assets
- Retirement funds, pensions, or deferred compensation agreements
- Insurance and annuities
- Household items
- Jewelry and artwork
- Business ownership interests
Equitable distribution divides marital assets along with marital liabilities. Marital liabilities include:
- Credit card and other revolving debts
- Car loans
- Tax liabilities
Even if a credit card is only in the name of one spouse, the balance of the credit card debt can still be deemed marital liability if the credit card was used during the marriage.
Dedicated Equitable Distribution Lawyers Help Clients Through Conflicts Over Splitting Assets in Divorce
Even if both spouses agree that they want a divorce to move on with their lives, equitable distribution can still present a fostering ground for tension and conflict. It is critical to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side who can help you through the valuation and division of assets. We can help even if you and your spouse just need help putting together the paperwork to effect a property settlement agreement. We can also help with some of the more complicated tasks in equitable distribution, such as:
- Retitling of assets
- Uncovering concealed assets
- Forensic accounting of separate property used to purchase marital property or commingled with marital property
- Expert appraisal of complex assets, such as business interests
The court does not take into account fault for the failure of the marriage or the behavior of either spouse in equitable distribution, unless that behavior impacted the value of marital assets or the valuation of the marital estate. Instead, factors the court considers in making an equitable distribution include:
- Length of the marriage
- The parties’ respective age, health sources of income, financial situation, and earning capacities
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The tax ramification for division or distribution of assets
- The expense of the sale, transfer, or liquidation of marital assets
Contact Us to Schedule a Confidential Consultation Regarding Equitable Distribution in Your Souderton Divorce Case
The experienced equitable distribution lawyers of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford work hard to efficiently resolve conflicts you may have with your spouse concerning the division of your marital assets and liabilities. If you are in the midst of the equitable distribution process in your divorce, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your rights and options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Souderton Equitable Distribution Under Pennsylvania Law
Our equitable distribution lawyers seek to help our clients reach an amicable agreement with their spouses over the division of marital assets and liabilities. However, we recognize that not every couple will be able to come to an agreement on this contentious issue. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, we find that mediation is often effective in bringing the parties together to a full agreement. If mediation fails, you and your spouse can always turn the issue over to the court, who will decide all outstanding equitable distribution decision for you. We will vigorously advocate for your interest before the court, but the court will make a decision based on the circumstances of your family and the equities of the situation.
You and your spouse should not use the same attorney to come up with a property settlement agreement. The equitable distribution process is by its very nature a conflicted situation; thus, an attorney representing both spouses would be in a clear conflict-of-interest situation. Attorneys are ethically required to act in their client’s best interest — this is why each spouse should have their own lawyer who will vigorously advocate in their client’s best interest.