In Pennsylvania asset division proceedings, property is categorized as either individual property or marital property. Marital property usually refers to property that was acquired over the period of the couple’s marriage, dating back to the day they said, “I do.” Meanwhile, separate property usually refers to property that either spouse owned individually prior to the marriage.
Some of the things included as marital property include the following assets acquired during a marriage: money earned, property bought or acquired and interest earned on investments. Marital property could also include appreciated value of certain assets, like the appreciated value of a business that was individually owned by one or the other spouses prior to the union. However, including business value as marital property is often subject to debate and could depend on whether the business idea, which led to significant profit, was conceived prior to the marriage.
Some of the things included as separate property include assets acquired prior to the marriage. It also includes assets received as a devise, bequest or gift. If one of the spouses uses money earned prior to the marriage to buy property, then this property will also be deemed as a separate asset.
If the asset division matter goes before a judge, the court will consider various factors in making its decision. Those include but are not limited to the following with regard to both spouses:
–Their health and ages
— Their future employability and current employment
— Their obligations and needs
— Their sources of income
— The length of the marriage
— Their behavior and/or misconduct during the course of the marriage.
Asset division can be a source of difficulty in many divorce proceedings. Therefore, Pennsylvania residents may want to acquire the assistance of an experienced attorney to help them protect their rights throughout the processes.
Source: Findlaw, “Pennsylvania Marital Property Laws,” accessed July 29, 2015