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Which assets will I get to keep after my divorce is final?

You might feel like all your assets are up in the air as you go through a divorce. But finding out how they will be divvyed up in court may give you peace of mind.

The divorce property division process in Pennsylvania is based on an equitable distribution model. Which is a fancy way of saying that each party will receive a portion of the marital estate that is fair, but not necessarily even.

How does equitable distribution work?

The state court system typically refers to a set of factors when carrying out the division or marital assets. It’s possible that this will include each person’s health, age, income, liabilities, anticipated retirement benefits and pensions and means to make ends meet. The court might also consider how much spousal support either party must pay from a previous marriage and the tax consequences that will result from the division of property.

All kinds of concerns might spring up as you file for a divorce. If you were a stay-at-home parent through the course of your marriage, then you’ll want to work toward a settlement that allows you to take care of your child’s needs as you adjust to becoming financially independent. Or if you have a health condition that makes it difficult to maintain a day job, then you might need to secure a share of assets that can help you stay afloat. A judge will review what your situation will look post-divorce and order a distribution of assets that they believe is just.

What’s the difference between marital and separate property?

All marital property is subject division, while separate property isn’t subject to division. Marital property includes the assets and debts you’ve acquired individually and together with your spouse through the course of your marriage. It doesn’t include anything that is separate property, like gifts, inheritances and property obtained prior to your wedding day. Otherwise, if you share a family home, bank accounts, investments, car loans, furniture and more, then you can expect to get a fair portion of these assets once you separate from your spouse.

To prepare for the division of assets, you can work with an experienced family law attorney to help get your case started and achieve a share of assets you deserve.