People are often averse to change because they don’t know what to expect and they are comfortable in their current situations. Even in an unhappy marriage, your relationship with your spouse is something you understand. You have an established standard of living and household routine that makes daily life relatively simple.
Life after divorce, on the other hand, may seem like an enigma. You may not know where you will live or what property you will own. When you have children, there can be even more concerns about the pressures of shared parenting time.
If you believe that divorce is the right path forward for you, learning more about the Pennsylvania approach to marital dissolution can take some of the mystery out of your future. What is the Pennsylvania approach to property division?
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state
Like the majority of other states in the country, Pennsylvania has enacted an equitable distribution standard for the division of marital property and debts. The goal in contested or litigated property division proceedings is for a judge to find a fair way to split your belongings and financial responsibilities. Determining what is fair can be a very complex process.
A judge needs to understand what separate property each of you have, what contributions you made to the marital household and what earning potential you each have. Custody arrangements, health concerns, promises about standard of living and even the length of the marriage can all influence what a judge feels would be fair and appropriate when dividing your property. They can order the sale of certain property or divide your belongings, including financial accounts held in one spouse’s name.
You can control the outcome yourselves
You don’t have to leave your immediate financial future to the discretion of a stranger. You and your spouse can propose your own property division settlement in an uncontested divorce filing. Couples that currently do not agree about property division matters can sometimes reach an agreement through mediation or collaborative negotiations before hearings and family court.
Learning about the property division process in Pennsylvania will take much of the fear out of filing for divorce.