What factors does the Court consider when determining Equitable Distribution in Pennsylvania? Now that you know what makes up marital property, the next question is: "How will the marital property be divided up between us?" In Pennsylvania, there will not necessarily be an even 50/50 split right down the middle. In Pennsylvania, the court relies on equitable distribution. The judge divides up the property based on what is the fair and equitable under all of the facts and circumstances. It could be 60/40, it could be 80/20 - there is no bright line for dividing up the marital property.
These are the eleven factors of equitable distribution the court considers when dividing up marital property:
1. How long did the marriage last? Was it three months? Was it twenty years? Was it sixty years?
2. Was either spouse married before? Is this a spouse's first divorce? Or have they gone through this before?
3. What are the personal circumstances of each spouse? What is their age? Their health? Are they currently employed? What is their current income? Are they employable? Is one spouse very wealthy? Does one spouse rack up a lot of debt? What are the unique and particular needs of each spouse?
4. Did one spouse pay for the education or employment training of the other spouse, such that it increased their ability to earn a living, or perhaps a better salary?
5. Does either spouse have the opportunity to acquire assets and income in the future?
1. Where do the spouses get their income? Do they work and earn a salary? Or do they receive public benefits, such as social security disability income? Perhaps they are retired or earn a pension?
2. What has each spouse contributed to the marriage? Have they been the breadwinner or have they been contributing as the homemaker? Have they purchased the majority of the marital property with their earnings?
3. What is the value of the property being allocated to each spouse? Is the husband getting a $5,000 car and wife is getting a $15,000 car?
4. What was the standard of living that the parties maintained while they were married? Did they live modestly or luxuriously?
5. What are the economic circumstances of each party? Does one party owe $10,000 or more to the IRS? When the distribution of property takes effect, what will each spouse's economic circumstances look like?
6. Will either party be the custodian of minor children? Is wife going to have primary custody of the minor children? If so, perhaps it makes sense for her to have a house that will accommodate them.
There is no hard and fast rule when dividing up marital property. Each case is different and the circumstances of each couple are unique. The entire situation will be examined and the property will be divided up in the most equitable way possible. Contact our experienced divorce attorneys at McMorrow Law, LLC to discuss your family law matters at 724-940-0100.