What Is Equitable Distribution?
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. This means that, during property division, a judge will decide on a distribution that is considered fair rather than an even 50/50 split, though a 50/50 split is a potential option if the situation warrants it.
One of the major factors in an equitable distribution of assets is the couple’s standard of living and ability to maintain that standard after the divorce. For example, if one spouse has a significantly lower income than the other, he or she may be awarded a larger share of the property based on this financial disparity.
Separate Vs. Marital Property
Some of your assets may be protected from property division. Pennsylvania makes a distinction between “separate property” and “marital property.” You hold full ownership of separate property and therefore your spouse does not have rights to it.
Separate property is any asset that you:
- Obtained before marriage
- Obtained during marriage as inheritance
- Purchased with funds earned before marriage
If you own a business, this may be considered separate property if the idea and work began before the marriage. However, businesses can be considered marital property if your spouse contributed physically or financially at any point in time.
Speak With A Lawyer Today
Our attorneys at Hopkins Heltzel Law Firm have significant success in litigation. During property division proceedings, we will represent your best interests and protect any separate property, as well as secure your right to a fair share of your marital assets.
To meet with one of our lawyers or have your questions answered, please call 814-299-5496 or contact us online. We offer free consultations with no obligation. We serve DuBois, as well as Clearfield County, Jefferson County and Elk County.