Equitable Distribution

During a divorce, a couple’s shared assets and debts must be divided — this is referred to as equitable distribution. For the purposes of equitable distribution in York, PA, courts consider marital property to be assets and debts that were incurred during the marriage. The increase in value of a premarital or separate asset maybe also be subject to equitable distribution. It helps to think of equitable distribution as one large pot with two little bowls. Each bowl represents a spouse’s interests. The pot is emptied one spoonful at a time until all of the assets and debts have been equitably distributed. Keep in mind that equitable does not mean equal and there after often times when a marital estate is not divided 50/50.

In Pennsylvania, an informal injunction is placed on property when a divorce is filed so that spouses are encouraged to maintain marital property. Anything acquired after separation will be the property or the liability of the spouse who obtained the debt or asset. After parties separate, they can negotiate and settle all equitable distribution issues on their own or through counsel; however, if no agreement is reached, the courts can decide how property should be distributed.

What Property Will Be Divided?

Most assets acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions, are subject to equitable distribution. This can include real estate, stocks, businesses, royalties, income, bank accounts, investments and other property and assets. Increases in value of nonmarital property are also considered for equitable distribution. You may be able to retain some assets based on a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, if there is such a document in the relationship. Your divorce settlement agreement may also outline division of property.

If you have a complex financial situation or if you and your spouse own considerable property or have considerable debts, speak with a qualified equitable distribution lawyer in York, PA. An attorney can work through the complex financial issues and bring a sense of understanding to the process.

How Do We Decide Who Gets What?

If there’s a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it will have an impact on how property is divided. If no such documents exist, the attorneys for both parties will negotiate. Mediation may be used to help both parties to agree; however, a divorce master may be required if the parties are unable to settle.

Factors Involved in the Decision

Family law is complex, and many factors go into deciding who gets what after a divorce. For example, if one spouse has physical custody, he or she may retain the house in which the children have lived so the children’s lives are not disrupted. In many cases, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side is an important factor to ensure you get a fair portion of marital assets.

How MPL Law Can Help

If you’d like to speak to an equitable distribution attorney, contact the York, PA offices of MPL Law. Whether you have significant marital assets or small amounts of property, it’s important to consult with an attorney who can represent you in court to ensure you don’t face financial distress after your divorce.

During your marriage, you made contributions to building your financial life together. Now that the marriage is dissolving, it’s important to ensure you get fair assets for your financial future.