Knowing how property division is usually conducted during divorce can be valuable information for divorcing couples in Pennsylvania. Marital property, or property and assets acquired during the marriage, is subject to the division process during divorce so understanding what it includes is important.
Pennsylvania follows equitable property division rules which provide for the equitable, or fair, division of property. This means that marital property will be divided between the couple fairly. Generally, marital property, but not separate property, will be divided between the couple. Separate property is property that one of the spouses entered the marriage with and gifts, inheritances, and personal injury awards. That makes the designation of the different pieces of property the couple holds important. Property is first categorized and then it is subject to the division process.
There are a variety of factors the family law court will consider when determining what a fair division of property will be. Factors include the duration of the marriage; the age and health of the spouses; the income and liabilities of each of the spouses; the abilities of the spouses to provide for themselves; the tax consequences of any property division settlement agreement; expected pensions and retirements; obligations from a previous marriage; as well as other factors the court may consider.
Arriving at a property settlement agreement that both divorcing spouses are happy with can be challenging which is why it is useful to know how the property division process works. It can help divorcing spouses prioritize and protect their interests and arrive at a property settlement agreement they can both live with.