The division of property during a divorce can be one of the most contentious parts of the entire process. For couples who already have a hostile relationship, asset division can become rather ruthless. To ensure you receive a fair share of your assets, you may need to work together with your former spouse.
Pennsylvania divides assets through equitable division. With equitable division, all your marital assets – the property you and your spouse accumulated together during your marriage – will be eligible for division. However, equitable division does not guarantee an equal split.
How the courts determine asset division
In Pennsylvania, equitable division allows a judge to base your property division on a variety of factors. A judge may consider:
- The overall value of the marital assets
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution and share of the marital assets
- The current financial status of each spouse
- Whether each spouse will be supporting minor children
- Each spouse’s needs for the future
These factors will let a judge decide how to divide your property. For example, a spouse who contributed significantly more to the marital assets may receive a higher percentage of the division. For equitable division states, the division is meant to be as fair as possible, but not necessarily equal.
How you can receive a fair division
If you are worried about receiving a lower share of the assets for any reason, or if you simply want to ensure both you and your former spouse have an equal share, your best option is to work with your ex directly.
It can be challenging to discuss asset division with your ex-spouse, especially if you are not on good terms. However, a judge will most likely guarantee equal division if you and your ex come to those terms first.
Don’t let property division turn into something ugly between you and your former spouse. Instead, take the chance to discuss the situation with your ex amicably and you will likely come to a solution that is much more agreeable for everyone.