Dividing Marital Property Equitably
There are two chief issues in dividing the marital estate: (1) identifying what property you own together and (2) putting a value on those assets.
In any situation, the experienced Philadelphia attorneys at Avallone Law Associates can protect your interests by negotiating the fair and equitable share of the marital estate that you deserve — or by aggressively representing you at trial whenever an acceptable settlement cannot be reached outside of court.
Marital Property or Separate Property?
Marital property refers to assets acquired jointly from the date of marriage to the date of separation, with certain exceptions. For example, the marital home can be regarded as marital property or separate property, depending on when it was purchased, who provided the down payment, whether the home was later refinanced, retitled to include the spouse, or improved with marital assets. An inheritance is separate property unless those funds are commingled into the marital estate. Our lawyers are adept at tracing assets held in one spouse’s name back to marital assets, or proving that separate assets are not subject to division.
Valuation of assets is also important. Avallone Law Associates uses forensic accountants and other experts to determine the value of:
- Closely held businesses and professional practices
- Retirement funds (401(k), IRA, pension)
- Stocks, bonds, money market accounts, investments
- Homes and other real estate
- Cars, jewelry, art, and other unique and valuable assets
Property Division in Dispute
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state where marital property is divided fairly instead of equally. If couples cannot resolve their property division differences outside of court — a divorce master or judge will consider a number of factors, including the age and health of the parties, the length of marriage, incomes and earning capacity and child custody. The master or judge will then award a percentage of the estate to each spouse.
Partition actions (which can be brought during the divorce or after the divorce) are another way to accomplish the goal of dividing property fairly.
35 Years of Making the Law Work for Families
We can give you a realistic perspective on the property division issues involved in your divorce. For a no-charge consultation, call us at 215-253-3855 or send us an email. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. We offer payment plans and accept major credit cards as well.