There are many different challenges that a couple getting divorced may face. One of the aspects that is often difficult for a divorcing couple is the task of dividing their assets. When a couple is married, their assets and finances become intermingled. Separating those assets and finances is quite difficult, especially when one party feels as though they deserve more than the other. If a couple cannot decide on dividing the marital estate on their own, they may need to have the court execute the equitable distribution process. Equitable distribution is the way that a court will divide a marital estate. It is not necessarily equal but it is fair.
The court will have to take a number of different factors into consideration when dividing a couple’s assets in a divorce. Some of these factors may include but are not limited to the following:
- The length of time that the couple was married
- The age and health of each spouse
- The standard of living that was established during the marriage
- The contributions that each spouse made to the marriage, financial and otherwise
- The income and personal property of each spouse
- The future earning potential that each spouse has
- The tax obligations that the division of assets may have on each spouse
- Where the minor children, if there are any, will reside
It is important to be aware that in the equitable distribution process, only the marital estate will be considered. This includes all of the property that was acquired during the course of the marriage. However, any property that was kept separate during the marriage or that was acquired prior to the time in which the couple was married will not be included in the distribution. This may include inheritances, settlements from other lawsuits, and other separate property.
It is no surprise that couples disagree on how their estate should be divided. While marital fault is not considered in the division of property, economic fault may be. So, while the court may not care that one spouse had an extramarital affair, they may care if marital funds were spent on that affair.
Some of the different types of property that may be included in equitable distribution include real property, investment property, rental property, bank accounts, jewelry, automobiles, mutual funds, and more.
If you have questions regarding the equitable distribution process in Pennsylvania, contact our firm today.
The attorneys at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein are committed to providing quality legal services for clients throughout York County and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. If you require strong legal representation for matters of personal injury, divorce and family law, criminal defense, physician representation, or mediation services, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.