Pennsylvania couples who divorce will need to divide their marital estate. In a best-case scenario, they will be able to agree among themselves on how to split all of their property. Nevertheless, they will need to prepare themselves for negotiation and compromise. Otherwise, they will likely find themselves in court in front of a judge.
How property is divided in a divorce
Pennsylvania uses the law of equitable division in allocating the marital estate. This means that the court will look at various factors in deciding who gets what property and the share that they would receive in the divorce. This does not always mean that the marital estate is split evenly down the middle. One spouse may receive more based on their contributions during the marriage. Conversely, a court could look at a disparity in earning power between the two spouses as a reason to give one more.
Compromise is a must when negotiating the split
Couples are typically best off when they try to negotiate a solution as part of a marital settlement agreement. This will keep the case out of court, and it will give you some control over how you split the marital estate. This requires some give and take. If the matter goes to court, you will have no control over what a judge may decide. While you can make your best arguments, there is little predictability as to what factors a judge may weigh more heavily.
You can expect to have to make some tough choices when dividing marital property. It may mean that you need to move out of the family home or surrender personal possessions that are meaningful to you. However, this is an unfortunate part of a divorce. The hope is that a spirit of compromise will prevail, allowing the divorce to be more amicable.