Couples facing divorce in Pennsylvania are understandably concerned about the financial implications of separation and divorce, including division of marital property, such as the family home, real estate, retirement accounts, investments, etc.
Inna Materese has significant experience representing a wide range of divorce clients, from those with simple marital estates to others with substantial, complex marital estates. Inna represents clients in Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia counties. Learn more about firm founder Inna Materese.
Related Client Review: “Attorney Materese was amazing throughout the entire divorce process. She handled my case with utmost professionalism through difficult circumstances. She was responsive, diligent and tenacious throughout. I have and will continue to recommend her highly to others finding themselves in need of divorce and family law expertise.” Craig T. (June 2019)
Marital versus Non-Marital Property, Assets & Debts
In Pennsylvania divorce cases including those in Montgomery, Bucks, Ch and Philadelphia counties, division of marital property occurs via a process called “equitable distribution”. However, before deciding how to divide the “stuff” within a marriage, the family law court must first determine what is marital property.
Marital property refers to any property acquired, regardless of whose name it is titled in, between the date of marriage and the date of separation.
Marital property encompasses virtually all assets and debts within a marriage, with the exception of those things that are categorized as non-marital property.
Non-marital property includes:
1. Inheritances received by one of the spouses.
2. Gifts from third parties (not gifts given from one spouse to another).
3. All assets and debts that either party had before they got married.
4. All assets and debts acquired by either party after they separated.
5. Federal veterans’ benefits.
Pennsylvania Divorce Law - Dividing Property, Assets & Debts
After determining what is marital property and non-marital property, the court will divide the property via equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal division of the assets and debts. Instead, equitable distribution refers to a process of determining what is fair under the financial circumstances in each divorce case. To determine what is fair and equitable in each case, Pennsylvania family law courts must review several equitable distribution factors found in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code of 1980, as amended.
Under 23 Pa. C.S. § 3502. Equitable division of marital property., these factors include, but are not limited to:
1. The length of the marriage.
2. Any prior marriage of either party.
3. The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
4. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
6. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
7. The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
8. The value of the property set apart to each party.
9. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
10. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective.
Montgomery County, PA Divorce Law Firm
Firm founder Inna Materese concentrates solely on complex family and divorce matters in Pennsylvania. She is widely regarded as the go-to family lawyer for the most complex family law matters. Her speaking engagement topics include Tax Implications in Divorce (2015), Prenuptial Agreements (2019), and Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements (2020, 2022).
To speak to Inna about categorizing property, assets, and debts in your divorce, please contact the firm to arrange a consultation.
Our Montgomery County Family Law Firm accepts clients across the county, including: Ambler, Blue Bell, Collegeville, Fort Washington, Jenkintown, King of Prussia, Lansdale, Oreland, Plymouth Meeting, Willow Grove, as well as the Main Line: Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Merion, Narberth.
Pennsylvania Family & Divorce Law
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