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How Does The Court Determine Which Spouse Gets To Keep What Property In My Divorce?

Equitable Distribution

One of the most contentious issues that individuals face when going through a divorce in Berks County is the division of marital assets and debts. As a Berks County Divorce lawyer, Attorney Joseph A. Guillama is often asked how the Court determines who will keep which asset and debt in the event of a divorce.

It is important to note that the Pennsylvania Divorce Code provides 11 factors, which the Court is required to analyze in determining which spouse keeps which asset and debt in divorce. Specifically, 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 3502 is entitled “Equitable Division Of Marital Property”. That law states that the Court is required to consider the following factors in equitably dividing, distributing and assigning marital assets and debts between the spouses:

  1. The length of the marriage
  2. Any prior marriage of either party
  3. The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties
  4. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party
  5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions, capital assets and income
  6. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits
  7. Contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of the party as a homemaker
  8. The value of the property set apart to each party
  9. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
  10. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective
    1. The federal, state and local tax ramifications associated with each asset to be divided, distributed or assigned, which ramifications need not be immediate and certain
    2. The expense of sale, transfer or liquidation associated with a particular asset, which expense need not be immediate and certain
  11. Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.

Accordingly, should you find yourself about to begin or already in the divorce process and should you have questions about how the Court will divide certain marital assets and/or debts, contact Berks County Divorce Attorney Joseph A. Guillama to discuss your options.