Divorce and Property Division

There are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about what happens in the state of Pennsylvania when a couple gets divorced. People believe that the courts favor women over men, or men over women; that custody always goes to a mother or that women always get alimony. None of these myths is true. In fact, the state of Pennsylvania has very clear cut rules regarding the divvying up of marital assets, as well as any debts that a couple may have. These rules fall under the heading of equitable distribution, and if a couple cannot come to an amicable agreement on their own or with the help of their legal representatives, then a judge will make the decision for them. The lawyers at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law are here to help.

Understanding how property division is addressed in a divorce in Pennsylvania first requires a knowledge of what property belongs to each party and what is considered marital property. If property was acquired before the couple got married, was inherited or received as a gift during the course of the marriage, or is excluded as a result of specific terminology in a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. By contrast, marital property is anything that is acquired during the marriage – the same is true of debt that is incurred during the marriage. When a couple decides to divorce, any asset or debt that is marital will be split up based on a division that the judge considers to be fair. This determination may be based on earnings capacity, the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, whether either spouse was previously married, and other factors. There is no requirement that a division of property is fifty-fifty, and no matter how angry one spouse may be at the other, the division of property is not a punitive device.

In many cases, couples that are contemplating going through a divorce proceeding realize that the process is time-consuming and expensive, and that it may be to their benefit to negotiate a settlement that is agreeable to both parties rather than to spend large sums of money on litigation and let the process drag on through the scheduling morass of the Pennsylvania court system. By working with an experienced, compassionate lawyer from Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law, you put yourself into the capable legal hands of an attorney who will listen carefully to your wishes and priorities and work on your behalf to negotiate a settlement agreement that will allow you to move ahead in a way that provides all parties with an agreement that they can live with. The less time you spend in court, the better the chance that you will be able to achieve an amicable arrangement that works to everybody’s benefit. For more information on how we can help you with your Pennsylvania divorce and property division, contact our office today.