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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > What Does Equitable Distribution of Assets Mean?

What Does Equitable Distribution of Assets Mean?


A main concern for couples moving toward divorce is the division of assets. In Pennsylvania, financial agreements are governed by equitable distribution laws. To have a full understanding of what equitable distribution means and how it impacts your unique situation, reach out to a Bucks County family attorney. Legal professionals can provide clarity about how assets and debts are handled when Pennsylvania and New Jersey couples choose to end a union.

Fair Does Not Always Mean Equal

Equitable distribution is the principle that marital assets need to be divided fairly but not necessarily equally between spouses when they decide to divorce. Part of this process involves determining which assets are marital assets and which assets are separate. Marital assets generally include property and debts acquired during the marriage while separate assets typically consist of property acquired before the marriage or inheritances and gifts to one spouse.

Pennsylvania’s equitable distribution laws require various factors to be reviewed when dividing marital property. These factors need to be assessed in order to ensure a fair distribution. Some of the questions that could be asked include the following.

  • How long have you been married? Longer marriages may warrant a more even distribution of assets, while shorter marriages might result in a less extensive distribution.
  • What is each person’s ability to earn a living? Each spouse’s ability to earn income, including education, job skills, and career prospects will be taken into account. Disparities in earning capacity may influence the division of assets.
  • Is there a certain standard of living you have become accustomed to? Courts may seek to maintain a similar standard of living for both spouses post-divorce, which could impact the distribution of assets.
  • What were the marital contributions? Both financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, such as homemaking or child-rearing responsibilities, are taken into account when dividing assets.
  • Are both spouses in good health? The health and age of each spouse are relevant factors in determining their future financial needs and earning potential.

Negotiating a fair settlement in a divorce case often involves strategic compromises. While litigation may be necessary in some cases, many divorcing couples opt for alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or collaborative law to reach an agreement outside of court, saving them time, money, and energy.

Share Your Asset Division Questions with an Attorney

There are professionals who work on divorce cases every day who can help you navigate the complexities of equitable distribution and advocate for your best interests. If you’re facing a divorce and have questions about asset division or other family law matters, have a conversation with a Bucks County family attorney.

Is the asset division aspect of divorce something that is worrying you? Whether through negotiation or litigation, the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand works hard to connect individuals with fair and equitable agreements, divorce settlements that allow both parties to step into the next chapter of their lives with confidence. When you are ready to learn more, simply call 215-968-6602 for a consultation.

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