Telford Equitable Distribution Lawyers
Dedicated Equitable Distribution Lawyers Provide Skilled Representation to Telford, PA Clients During the Division of Assets in Divorce
Pennsylvania law requires the equitable distribution of the marital assets and liabilities of a divorcing couple. By using the term “equitable”, the law merely requires that a division of assets and liabilities be “fair” — it does not need to be “equal”. Ideally, if you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you would agree on how your marital assets and liabilities would be divided. However, many divorce proceedings are far from ideal, and many divorcing couples end up in acrimonious disputes over the equitable distribution of their marital estate, especially when a couple has been married for a long time and there are significant or sentimental assets at issue.
The experienced equitable distribution attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. understand that equitable distribution is a complex and emotionally fraught issue for many divorcing couples, especially when you have to decide how to divide up your hard-earned assets. Our legal team will conduct a full accounting of your marital assets and liabilities and will vigorously fight to protect your goals, interests, and rights throughout the equitable distribution process.
What is Equitable Distribution in Telford, PA?
Equitable distribution in Telford divorce cases requires examination of numerous factors; however, whether one party was at fault for the divorce is not a factor that is considered in equitable distribution. Instead, courts consider various factors such as:
- The duration of the marriage
- The income of each spouse
- The earning potential of each spouse, which in some cases is higher than actual income
- The details of any child custody arrangement affecting either spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- Whether either spouse has any alimony or child custody obligations from prior marriages
- The effect of non-marital assets (such as pre-marital assets or inheritances) on a spouse’s standard of living
- Contributions by one spouse to help advance the other spouse’s earning potential (such as one spouse becoming a homemaker or stay-at-home parent to allow the other spouse to attend school or seek higher professional opportunities)
- The impact of tax liabilities
- Any pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements providing for division of assets and liabilities
It is important to note that equitable distribution only affects marital assets and liabilities; a spouse’s separate property is not subject to division. Property is classified as separate if it is, for example:
- Property brought into the marriage by one spouse
- Inherited property or gifts received by a spouse (even if received during the marriage)
- Property designated as separate by a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
- Property acquired by a spouse following the couple’s separation
Many of the disputes that arise during the equitable distribution process stem from the fact that allegedly separate property has increased in value during the marriage or that the spouse who owned separate property used it for marital or family purposes. For example, a spouse may use their inheritance or a family gift to purchase the marital home; in that case, a court may determine that separate property has become marital property subject to equitable distribution.
Results-Focused Divorce Attorneys Strive to Help Clients Obtain Favorable Equitable Distribution Arrangements in Telford, PA Divorces
Equitable distribution proceedings can become extremely complex when divorcing spouses have been married for a long time and have significant or complex assets. A complex proceeding can give rise to serious tension between the divorcing couple. However, the results-oriented equitable distribution lawyers of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. will help you through the process to reach a property settlement agreement or obtain a court-ordered equitable distribution that best meets your goals and interests. Our legal team begins every equitable distribution proceeding by conducting a full accounting of you and your spouse’s assets and liabilities, both marital and separate. In some cases, complex or especially valuable assets may require expert appraisal to establish their monetary value. Examples of marital assets include:
- The marital home
- Other co-owned real estate
- Securities investments
- Pensions and other retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies and annuities
- Household goods
- Ownership interests in businesses
In addition to assets, equitable distribution must also divide marital liabilities between divorcing spouses. Examples of marital liabilities include:
- Mortgages on the marital home and other co-owned real estate
- Car loans
- Tax liabilities incurred during the marriage
- Credit card and other revolving debt if incurred to support the marriage or the family
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Telford Equitable Distribution Lawyer
Our Telford, PA equitable distribution attorneys have the knowledge and dedication to persuasively advocate for the equitable distribution arrangement that is most favorable to you. We sit down with you to understand your goals, including identifying any assets that have a higher priority or sentimental value for you. We’ve also seen cases where spouses try to conceal assets, and so we work tirelessly to ensure that we’ve uncovered all of your spouse’s assets to ensure that you receive a fair distribution. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about your legal rights and options and how our legal team can help you achieve the most favorable equitable distribution in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions about Equitable Distribution in Telford
Our equitable distribution attorneys will fight to ensure that your separate property remains separate during the equitable distribution process. We engage accountants and forensic accounting experts to trace the sources of funds during the marriage to show that your separate property was never commingled with marital property or used for marital or family purposes during the marriage and therefore is not subject to equitable distribution.
The outcome for your home depends on multiple factors specific to your situation, including the duration of your marriage and how long you and your spouse lived in your home. In some cases, courts decide that a portion of the value of your home remains your separate property while the other portion of the value is marital property subject to equitable distribution. Specifically, courts tend to treat increases in value of the marital home that is owned by only one spouse as marital property subject to division. In addition, a court may award residence in the home to the spouse that will have primary physical custody of children who live in the home. However, in many cases, equitable distribution merely involves dividing the value of the home, rather than dividing the home itself.