Division of Marital Assets in Lehigh Valley
Allentown Divorce Distribution Attorney
In a divorce action, often one of the most contentious issues is the division of marital assets. In Pennsylvania, the assets are not simply divided 50/50 between the husband and wife, but rather are equitably divided. Equitable distribution is the process by which the court considers eleven factors in determining how to fairly (but not necessarily equally) divide assets among divorcing spouses.
These factors include:
- Prior marriages
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living established by both parties during the marriage
- Whether a party will be serving as a custodian for any dependents
- Contributions made to the education or earning potential of either party
- The economic circumstances each party will be left in after the division of property
- The contributions (or lack thereof) of each party to the marital home
- Age, health, workforce skills, amount and source of income
- Value of each party's property
- Sources of income, including retirement funds and other benefits
- Future earning power of each party
What You May Not Know About Equitable Distribution
By law, none of the eleven factors are supposed to be given greater weight than the others. However, of the eleven factors, employment and earning potential are certainly two of the most important. Additionally, the age, health, contributions to the marriage and non-marital assets of either party may be just as important to the court.
Of the eleven factors, the only mention of marital misconduct is that the court may not consider it when determining the distribution of the marital assets. Additionally, most people going through a divorce for the first time are surprised to learn that equitable distribution means that the party that earned the higher income during the marriage may get less, and sometimes significantly less, than fifty percent of the marital assets. An experienced Allentown divorce attorney will want to get involved in the process early on and attempt to work out the division of assets prior to filing the divorce action.
Marital Asset Division Attorney in Allentown
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the division of the marital assets, a hearing will be required. At the equitable distribution hearing, all appraisals, estimated valuations, income, business valuations, other marital and non-marital assets, and all other relevant information will be submitted to the master in order to equitably divide the marital assets. This is a process that is filled with deadlines and rules, and also the stage where the legal bills add up.
Whenever it best serves our clients to avoid the hassle and expense of litigation, the Allentown divorce lawyer at Regan Law Firm negotiates in his clients’ best interests to reach an out-of-court settlement on the division of the marital assets. However, when this cannot yield a fair resolution, Attorney Kevin Regan is prepared to use his extensive trial experience to litigate the matter and pursue the outcome his clients desire.
Contact an Allentown Equitable Distribution Lawyer Today
Call the experienced Allentown family law attorney at the Regan Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. For your convenience, we offer evening and weekend appointments and are always accessible via phone or email. We can be reached at (484) 498-6334 or you may fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch with you soon.