Equitable Distribution Used in Pennsylvania Divorce
If someone is going through a divorce, they might think that the couple will split all of their assets in half. The truth is, not all cases are a 50/50 split. Instead, Pennsylvania uses something called equitable distribution. This means instead of splitting all assets right down this middle, a judge has a lot of leeway in how they divide up property.
This can be both good and bad. Sometimes one spouse might forego their career, and therefore make very little or no money, but stays home to help raise their children. A judge might decide that this person gets more of the assets to make up for their lack of income because of a family made decision.
In some states, a judge might have less discretion in how property is divided. These states are called community property states. Many times these cases involve the splitting of property as close to 50/50 as possible.
Because a judge can often decide who gets what in a Pennsylvania divorce, a person might be wise to speak with an experienced divorce attorney. They can help the person understand how the process works and advocate in their best interests.
Sometimes negotiating with a spouse is a good option for both parties involved. They can work out what they think is fair, with the help of their attorneys. This agreement might still need approval from a judge, but it can lead to a more peaceful divorce process and hopefully the best outcome for each individual.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Where You Divorce Matters: Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property," David Centeno, Aug. 28, 2013