Divorce is rarely easy, but few people realize just how difficult asset division can be until they try to do it themselves. Without a doubt, figuring out how to split up belongings can be one of the most challenging aspects of parting ways with your spouse.
If you have found yourself in this complicated situation, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you choose the best options for approaching how to divide assets in your upcoming divorce.
Community property vs. equitable distribution
In the United States, divorcing partners usually have one of two options, depending on where they live. Nine states around the country have “community property” laws, and the remaining states, including Pennsylvania, follow “equitable distribution” laws. With community property, the law generally considers all property that couples acquire during marriage as shared. In states with equitable distribution, the court looks at assets in a more equitable, albeit not always equal, way.
Dividing assets in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, couples can enter into a divorce settlement agreement to civilly divide the property. Some use professional legal assistance, but doing so is not a requirement. For spouses who cannot agree, there is a court trial where a judge will divide assets. When considering equitable distribution, the judge will look at the length of the marriage, previous marriage history and each spouse’s relationship with the property in question.
When dividing assets, there are many factors to consider. In addition to the possessions and property that you share with your spouse, for example, what does your mutual debt situation look like? By learning more about Pennsylvania’s property division process, you can better prepare for your upcoming divorce.