Property Division Laws in Pennsylvania
Learn How Property is Divided in PA
Pennsylvania doesn't require the even split of marital assets in a divorce. Instead, our state calls for the "equitable distribution" of property between divorcing spouses. In other words, fairness to both sides is a far more important value than mathematical equality. This standard is broad and subject to interpretation by judges concerning things like what property is marital and non-marital, how to value property and whether alimony should be awarded.
That is why it is so important to have an attorney who has many years of experience practicing divorce law in central Pennsylvania. The property division attorneys at Scaringi Law have over 80 years of combined experience practicing divorce law in central Pennsylvania and collectively have practiced before every divorce court judge in the region. Our Harrisburg divorce attorneys have acquired the knowledge, based upon much experience, about how the divorce court judges handle divorce cases.
To find out how Pennsylvania's equitable distribution principles apply to the property division problems that will apply in your case, contact us for a free consultation. With offices in Harrisburg, Newport, Carlisle, York, and Lancaster, our lawyers serve the needs of clients throughout central Pennsylvania.
How Are Assets Divided in Divorce in PA?
When two people file for divorce, the state of Pennsylvania will divide martial property based on equitable distribution. This essentially means that if each party cannot mutually agree on the property split, the court will do so by means of what is fair and equitable. This does not mean a split right down the middle; it is based on several factors such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse during the marriage
- The age, health, and overall well-being of each spouse
Keep in mind, not all assets are divided equitably. There are properties that may be considered separate. Separate property may not get divided and include:
- Any property acquired before the marriage
- Gifts or inheritances received by either spouse
- Any properties that were excluded in a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement
- Properties that were acquired during any separation
Simple or Complex Asset Division - The Stakes Are the Same
While our firm is ready to advise affluent and upper middle-class clients with complex asset division problems, we can also be of value to those who have only a house, a couple of cars and some retirement benefits. The stakes are the same, and probably higher in real terms, to these individuals as they are to the affluent.
Even if your property division issues are likely to be fairly simple, however, you stand to benefit from the same level of experience and attention to detail that our lawyers bring to bear on more complicated asset distribution problems.
With fully developed client service capacity in business law, tax law and estate planning, Scaringi Law, offers practical advice that can protect the value of marital assets while expanding your options both in settlement negotiations and litigation.
We start with a complete and accurate valuation of your marital estate. If your spouse isn't forthcoming with detailed information about finances and income, we'll go to court to compel disclosure. We review financial information with the help of experts and forensic accountants as necessary to make sure that all marital assets are identified and correctly valued. We can recover assets improperly transferred to others whenever necessary to protect your interests in a fair property division.
At this stage, we often spot issues concerning asset characterization — doubts as to whether a particular asset should be included in the marital estate. Our divorce lawyers also coordinate with our attorneys to make sure that the division of assets and debts takes full account of the tax attributes of child support and alimony obligations.
Sound Negotiating Techniques Backed Up With Trial Experience
The net result is a fully documented and defensible property settlement proposal that maximizes your interest in continuing financial security while meeting your legal obligations under the Pennsylvania statutes. We don't formulate your bargaining position based on a lesser amount we think you'll later accept as a compromise. Instead, we determine what we can prove in court on your behalf — our attorneys will work hard to get you the best result possible.
Call a Property Division Attorney at Scaringi Law Today for Help
Our advice and advocacy on property division issues work well for working parents, empty nesters, small business owners and people with prenuptial agreements in place.
For more information about our ideas for the resolution of your case, contact a Harrisburg divorce lawyer at (717) 775-7195.