Philadelphia Area Divorce and Property Division Attorney
Unless you and your spouse signed a pre-marital agreement, division of marital property in a divorce starts from a premise of a 50-50 sharing of assets. This means that spouses will equally share in the property that is accumulated between the date of their marriage and the date of separation. However, in most cases, the actual property division does not end up being 50-50. The Pennsylvania Divorce Code lists a number of factors that a family law judge can look at to determine whether a deviation from that 50-50 sharing of assets is warranted.
I'm Lee A. Schwartz, an attorney in Philadelphia with 30 years of experience. I often help clients mediate and litigate the issue of property division in their divorce. If you are contemplating divorce, sit down with me to discuss and fully understand your rights and obligations when it comes to marital property.
There are many factors a family law judge considers in deciding the precise division of marital assets in Pennsylvania, including:
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- Length of marriage
- Difference in income
- Whether one party was a stay-at-home parent
- Whether one party has a large amount of non-marital assets
Pennsylvania is no-fault divorce state, so fault is not a factor in property division.
What is a marital asset?
Generally, any asset acquired from the date of marriage through the date of separation is a marital asset, regardless how it is titled or who paid for it. These assets include real estate, household items, vehicles, boats, IRAs, 401(k) accounts, pension plans, cash, investments, stock options, and other assets.
The increase in value of an asset brought into the marriage by either party is a marital asset, unless a pre-marital agreement says otherwise.
Inheritances are not marital property. However, the increase in value of an inheritance can be marital property, even though the inheritance itself is not.
There are many property division issues that need to be analyzed by a good family law attorney. While many lawyers handle divorce cases, there are fewer lawyers who concentrate in handling them on a frequent basis.
For more information or to discuss your property settlement issue, contact me, Philadelphia divorce attorney Lee A. Schwartz. I am associated with the Spear Wilderman Law Firm.