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Many hard decisions are made during a divorce, including the division of property. It is no easy job to split up and distribute the assets that you and your spouse have accumulated over the years of your marriage. Sometimes a divorce will result in a 50/50 split of property and other times it will not. We understand that dividing marital assets is a delicate subject and our York County, PA property division attorneys are equipped to handle your divorce case and ensure your rights are protected.

What is Marital and Separate Property?

The assets that each spouse in a marriage owns need to be assessed and ownership determined before the division of property can begin. Property will be divided into two categories: marital property and separate property.

Marital property means that the asset is considered jointly owned by both parties. All property that is acquired by spouses during the marriage is typically considered marital property and subject to distribution between spouses. Regardless of who bought the property or whose name is on a title or deed, marital property is owned by both spouses equally.

Separate property or non-marital property is an asset that is deemed owned by only one spouse. Individual property can include property acquired by a spouse before the marriage, by inheritance, or by a gift.

It is important to note that because a married couple has such intertwined lives, the line between separate and marital property can be blurry. Separate property can become marital property under certain circumstances. For example, if one spouse receives inheritance money from a parent’s passing it would usually be considered separate property. However, if they deposit the funds into a joint bank account or use the money to buy a family home, the new assets can be considered marital property and are subject to property division during a divorce.

Will Property Be Divided 50/50 During an NJ Divorce?

Property could be divided 50/50 between each spouse during a divorce in Pennsylvania, but it is not the default. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, meaning that during a divorce assets are distributed in a way that is fair based on the needs and abilities of each spouse.

If one spouse cannot hold a full-time job due to a disability, for example, they may be awarded more of the marital property to help them continue to support themselves. Or if one spouse wasted marital funds on gambling or another vice without the other spouse knowing, the unknowing spouse may be given a higher portion of the assets to make up for that loss.

In some cases, the two spouses may have similar incomes, physical capabilities, and overall equal financial situations. In these instances, property may be split 50/50 or almost evenly.

Property could be divided equally during a divorce but it is not required. A Pennsylvania court will evaluate all necessary factors and come to a decision that is equitable. To best advocate for your rights during a divorce reach out to a skilled divorce attorney today.