Legal matters involving the family are among the most emotional and difficult issues you may face. Allow the experienced family law practitioners at McVan & Weidenburner help you through the tough times and ensure that your rights are protected, whether you're facing a divorce, custody, or support issue.
Do not sign any documents until you have spoken to an attorney. You could be giving up your rights without being fully informed. Your rights to alimony, division of property, attorney’s fees, or other important rights are lost if they are not properly preserved. McVan & Weidenburner will be sure to protect all of your rights.
What is marital property, and do I have it?
In Pennsylvania, martial property is divided by equitable distribution. Equitable distribution means a fair division of marital property; it does not necessarily mean equal distribution.
Marital property includes all property that was acquired during the marriage. It does not matter how it is titled (in whose name it is). Gifts from one spouse to another are marital property if they were purchased with marital funds. However, gifts and inheritances that a spouse receives during the marriage generally belong to that spouse. Pensions and business interests that were developed by one spouse are considered marital property if they were acquired during the marriage.
§ 3501 of the PA Statutes defines marital property as:
(a) General rule.-As used in this chapter, "marital property" means all property acquired by either party during the marriage, including the increase in value, prior to the date of final separation, of any nonmarital property acquired pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3), except:
(1) Property acquired prior to marriage or property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.
(3) Property acquired by gift, except between spouses, bequest, devise or descent.
23 Pa. C.S.A. § 3501(a).
Furthermore, the factors to be considered, and the impact of marital misconduct on the equitable distribution is addressed as follows:
§ 3502 of the PA Statutes provides factors for the equitable distribution of property:
(a) General rule.-In an action for divorce or annulment, the court shall, upon request of either party, equitably divide, distribute or assign, in kind or otherwise, the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct in such proportions and in such manner as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors, including:
The length of the marriage.
Any prior marriage of either party.
The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
The value of the property set apart to each party.
The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
The economic circumstances of each party, including Federal, State and local tax ramifications, at the time the division of property is to become effective.
Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.
Are there children involved?
Custody and Child support are often factors in divorce. Do not lose your rights because you are uninformed. We can help you navigate the custody and support aspects of your divorce.