Protecting Your Interests In Property Division
The process of separating two people’s lives during a divorce can be a complicated one. Beyond the emotional side of things and the adjustments to everyday life, there’s the matter of splitting up the assets, debts and property you accrued during the marriage. The experienced, passionate and people-oriented attorneys at Ruppert Law Firm LLC are here to guide Pennsylvania divorcees through this process. We can help you make sense of it all and ensure you get your fair share along the way.
How Marital Property Is Divided In Pennsylvania
Marital property is divided equitably in a Pennsylvania divorce. Equitable division doesn’t mean splitting things 50/50 down the middle; it means the share of the property each spouse ends up with will reflect their needs and financial contributions to the marriage. An equitable division of marital property could be a 60/40 split, 70/30, 80/20 or a number of other ratios.
Martial property refers to the assets, debts and property a couple acquires while married. Only marital property is divided among spouses in a divorce. Their separate property, or the things they had before marriage, will remain solely theirs to keep. Things acquired during marriage can sometimes also be considered separate property. For example, inheritances, gifts and family heirlooms.
How We Make A Difference In Property Division
Collectively, the attorneys at our firm have decades of experience helping people resolve legal issues. We have helped numerous people navigate their divorces, including the property division stage. Sean L. Ruppert, our principal attorney, has gone through a divorce himself, so we’ve been in your shoes. We’re passionate about family law matters and will strive to achieve a fair outcome for you and your loved ones. People are our priority; we help them maintain balance and control over their lives and empower them to make decisions.
We’ll meet you where you are emotionally. If you need someone to reel you in, we can do that. If you need a zealous advocate to be your voice, we can do that, too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marital Property Division
Divorce not only separates spouses; it divides assets, too. Here are the answers to common questions that our clients have about their divorce cases:
How is property split in a Pennsylvania divorce?
In Pennsylvania divorces, the principle of equitable distribution governs property division and is guided by a judge’s assessment of fairness (Pa. C.S.A. – Title 23 – Chapter 35 § 3502). This diverges from community property states, where a 50-50 split is standard. In Pennsylvania, distribution can be more flexible because fairness is the priority. The distribution considers factors like the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s separate financial means, and their individual contributions to the marriage.
Who gets the house in a Pennsylvania divorce?
Neither spouse has an automatic claim to the house in a Pennsylvania divorce. Ideally, the couple will decide how to handle the home together. Typically, that means selling the home and dividing the proceeds. In some situations, however, one party may want to keep the house and take that as part of their equitable share of the marital assets.
Is a house owned before marriage considered “marital property” in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a house owned before marriage is considered separate property, not marital property. This means it wouldn’t be subject to automatic division in a divorce. However, if the property’s value increases during the marriage or merges with marital assets, a portion of its equity might be deemed marital property.
What happens to retirement accounts in a divorce?
In a divorce, retirement accounts are subject to equitable distribution, meaning they may be divided between spouses. The specific process can vary by jurisdiction. In many cases, retirement accounts accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property, and the court may order a fair and just division. This can involve the creation of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to facilitate the distribution without incurring early withdrawal penalties or taxes.
Talk To A Divorce Attorney About Property Division Today
If you’re considering a divorce and have concerns about dividing up your marital property, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us to arrange a consultation to get started. You can reach us by phone at 412-730-2187 or by completing an appointment request form online.