Helping you make informed, intelligent decisions about the sale of marital assets. Property Division during Divorce is rarely a simple matter. At the Law Office of Douglas Earl LLC, we are skilled at handling the most complex marital property division issues.
With more than 29 years of experience, Philadelphia sale of marital assets attorney Douglas P. Earl knows when to encourage selling assets to accomplish a fair division of marital property during a divorce.
What Happens To Property Owned By The Parties in Divorce?
“Marital property” refers to almost everything that either spouse gets during the marriage, regardless of whose name the asset is titled in. Such assets would include a house (again, regardless of whose name is on the deed or mortgage), pensions, stocks and bonds, furniture, automobiles, bank accounts, debts, etc. “Marital property also includes increases in value during the marriage of: (1) any property owned by a spouse before the marriage and/or (2) any asset or property owned by a spouse inherits or receives by gift during marriage. The law provides guidance regarding the “equitable distribution” of marital property. Equitable distribution means “fair.” It does not necessarily mean 50-50 distribution of marital property.
What Does A Court Look At When Dividing Property?
“Fairness” is determined by examining several factors:
- Length of marriage;
- Any prior marriage of either party;
- Age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employ-ability, 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 to acquire assets and income in the future;
- The sources of income for both parties;
- The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker;
- The value of any property set apart to each party;
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
- The economic circumstances of each party; and
- Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.
Note that “fault” behavior (e.g., adultery) is NOT considered in determining fairness in property distribution.
Why Do Assets Need to Be Sold?
During a divorce, selling certain marital assets may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Perhaps neither party wants to keep the family home, so it must be sold in order to split the resulting equity between the two spouses. The same thing might be true of a car or any other piece of marital property.
The first vital step is to ensure an accurate valuation of any marital assets that you need to sell. We will take great care to see that you gain the full value of the property that you wish to put up for sale.
The Balancing Act
Selling marital assets such as a house can be very challenging in a down economy. When added to the stress of property division, it may seem impossible.
We see property division as a balancing act that must be skillfully executed to ensure that you achieve a fair outcome. We have performed this balancing act before, and we will put our tested skills to work for you. Our Pennsylvania division of property lawyer will work hard to protect your interests.
We’re Here When You Need Us!
We are ready to take every step to achieve the results you seek. If that means a legal battle with the opposition, be certain that you can count on us.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.
Contact an Philadelphia sale of marital assets attorney today.
In Pennsylvania divorces, property is characterized one of two ways. Separate property is property that belongs to one spouse, and marital property is property that’s owned jointly by the couple.
Separate property includes:
- property acquired before the marriage (eg., a car that was fully paid off before the marriage)
- inheritances and gifts received during the marriage
- property excluded from the marital estate by a valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, and
- property acquired after separation.
Generally, Pennsylvania law allows separate (or “non-marital”) property to escape the equitable distribution process. However, it’s important to remember if separate property increases in value during the marriage, the increase in the value may be considered a marital asset. Or, if spouses use non-marital funds (eg., one spouse’s pre-marriage savings) for a common purpose, such as purchasing a home during the marriage, those separate property funds used for the down payment may become marital property.
Property disputes are very common in divorce, but they often present complex legal issues and may require financial tracings: matters that are best left to the experts. If your divorce involves a dispute regarding the character of substantial property, you might want to contact Douglas P. Earl, Esquire family law attorney to protect your rights.