In a divorce where you have a significant amount of property and assets to split, it’s important that you understand how you can protect your money and investments. You may be concerned about having to split up your retirement income, properties, investment portfolios or other major assets.
If you’re concerned that your ex-spouse will get too much in the divorce, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with the realization that they are not guaranteed a 50% split of their marital assets. Instead, Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state that asks that couples split their property fairly rather than equally.
How does Pennsylvania being an equitable distribution state impact your divorce?
To start with, being in an equitable distribution state means that you aren’t automatically guaranteed an equal share of your marital assets. Instead, the court asks that you do what’s fair. For example, if you came into your marriage and worked hard to support your spouse who decided to stay home, you might argue that you deserve a larger share of your assets. If your spouse did not hold a job and didn’t take care of the home, then your argument may be stronger.
For those who stayed home to watch their children or take care of the property, it may be reasonable to ask for an equal share of the marital assets. Some may agree to an uneven split, too, such as a 60/40 split of your marital assets.
What can you do to protect your income and investments?
To protect your personal income and the assets you’ve purchased, it’s a good idea to try to show which of these are separate assets. The more you can prove belongs to you and is not part of your marital assets, the better.
Use receipts, proof of an inheritance, a prenuptial agreement or other documents to show which assets belong strictly to you first. Then, look at the assets that remain and decide what a fair split would be. Many people do agree to a 50/50 split when they had relatively equal input into the marriage, but you can decide on other splits if needed.