Bucks County Property Division Attorney
The division of marital property can be a complicated process in any divorce, between identifying property and determining what an equitable distribution looks like for each spouse. At Kardos, Rickles & Hand our Bucks County property division attorneys recognize the complexity of this issue and are here to advocate for your property interests in your divorce case. To learn more, call or contact our office in Bucks County today.
Separate, Marital, and Commingled Property
The first step in dividing marital property is identifying all property as either separate, marital, or commingled. Separate property is everything brought into the marriage by each spouse, including all real estate, personal property items, and debts. Marital property is everything acquired by each spouse, both assets and liabilities, during the course of the marriage.
Commingled property is anything that started as separate property but became commingled with marital funds during the marriage. One common example of commingled property is a house owned by one spouse prior to the marriage that is used as the primary residence and has been paid for or updated using marital funds.
How to Divide Marital Property
After all assets and debts of the couple have been identified as separate, marital, or commingled the distribution of property in a divorce can begin. All separate property reverts back to the spouse that brought it into the marriage. All marital property is split equitably between spouses, and commingled property can either be split between spouses or returned to the spouse it originated from if the property can be identified, traced, and is capable of being separated from the marital investment.
Pennsylvania law requires that all marital and commingled property subject to distribution be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. Unlike community property states that mandate a 50/50 split, equitable distribution allows for special circumstances to impact the division of marital property. For example, if one spouse used marital assets to pay for items while engaging in infidelity, the harmed spouse may receive a larger portion of the marital estate to make up for the loss. A spouse may also be required to pay off a larger share or the entirety of debts accrued during the marriage if they only served to benefit that spouse, such as gambling debts.
How to Determine Who Gets What?
There are a few different ways that spouses can decide how to divide their marital property. Spouses can agree to keep certain smaller items, while the larger items like the house are sold and the proceeds split between the couple. One spouse may elect to forego lesser-valued marital property in exchange for a large item like the house or business interests. When a couple cannot come to terms on their own, the court may step in and decide who gets what in the divorce. To learn more about how to divide marital property, talk to an experienced divorce attorney today.
Call Kardos, Rickles & Hand
Do you have concerns about dividing marital property in your divorce? If so, call or contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand today to schedule a consultation of your case with one of our skilled Bucks County divorce attorneys now.