Effective Advice in Property Division Disputes
Helping you make informed, intelligent decisions during difficult times.
When the topic of divorce comes up, one of the first considerations is the division of property. However, before you can “divide” anything, you need to identify, characterize, and value the assets that make up the marital estate.
Generally speaking, “marital property” in Pennsylvania includes all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage (anytime between the date of the marriage and the date of separation).
“Non-marital” assets (also referred to as “separate property”) include the following:
- assets acquired by either spouse before marriage
- assets acquired by gift or inheritance at any time (except for gifts from one spouse to the other that occurred during marriage), and
- assets acquired by either spouse after the date of separation.
The Law Office of Douglas Earl LLC understands that one of the most highly contested issues in many divorce proceedings is the division of marital property. We are committed to helping you divorce with the assets that you deserve.
Every case we handle is backed by our 28 years of experience. You can be confident that we can help you with even the most complex property division issues.
Every Case Is Unique
We have been doing this for long enough to know that every property division dispute is unique. We carefully assess all of the property involved in each case before customizing a plan to move forward. . We will pursue a resolution to your situation based on a realistic assessment of the possibilities and your goals.
Every Type of Property
You have the right to enlist a lawyer who can effectively address all types of property, including:
- 401K accounts
- Business investments
- Stocks and bonds
- Homes and other properties
We have the experience to address all of these property division issues.
We know how to handle every issue, including situations wherein you absolutely must retain possession of the family home. In these cases we file petitions for special relief or petitions for exclusive possession of the marital home.
We also help clients understand when sale of marital assets will be necessary to achieve an equitable outcome.
Date of Separation
The date of separation is crucial in characterizing property, because property obtained after the date of separation is generally non-marital.
In Pennsylvania, a couple is separated when they begin to live “separate and apart.” This means that the spouses no longer have sexual relations with one another, and they don’t hold themselves out to the world as a married couple (e.g., they don’t attend public functions as a married couple). Spouses don’t necessarily have to live in different households to be separated, but that type of separation may be a little more difficult to prove.
Once you have pinned down the date of separation, you’ll need to determine purchase dates. Assets acquired before marriage are separate property. For example, if one spouse owned an expensive watch before the marriage, the watch belongs to that spouse separately through the marriage and after divorce (but keep reading below for a caveat).
We Fight for You!
While we will strive to reach a fair property settlement without having to take the matter to court, we know that a fair outcome isn’t always possible without a fight.
We know our way around family court. We understand the steps necessary to help you meet your objectives.
We’re Here When You Need Us
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties, Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.
Contact an experienced family law attorney today.