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Property division is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Although there are grounds for fault in a divorce in Pennsylvania, these cannot be used as a reason to award one party more of the assets than the other, unlike in alimony determinations. The laws generally allow for equitable distribution of all property that is deemed to be marital. Equitable distribution means the split does not have to be equal if the parties are on unequal financial footing.
Determining who gets what in a property division agreement demands meticulous, persuasive negotiation and sometimes litigation techniques. At The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, our divorce lawyers handle complex property division matters with our clients’ goals at the forefront of our minds. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to speak with our experienced attorneys.
Which Assets Will Need To Be Divided?
For the purposes of property division in a divorce, the divorce code defines marital property as assets and debts that are acquired or incurred between the date of marriage and final separation of the parties. There are exceptions, including inherited property. Title is often less critical than date of acquisition. One key to property division in divorce is knowing how to determine the value of each asset. Some assets need to be appraised by an expert. These can include:
- Real property (both the marital or primary residence and investment properties)
- Stocks, bonds and other investments
- Artwork, collectibles and antiques
- Motor vehicles
Helping You Achieve An Equitable Division
Our attorneys routinely employ experts and appraisers to conduct and prepare accurate appraisal reports. We also know how to use the discovery process to uncover every asset and identify proper valuation dates to negotiate aggressively on your behalf. This may include having a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) for the pension that is linked to the duration of the marriage and duration of the employment to be divided at some point and a portion given to the economically disadvantaged spouse.
This property division process can be quite lengthy. If needed, we can seek interim relief or interim distributions such as selling the marital home before other assets are divided to help provide financial relief. Any number of motions can be filed in divorce court while the action is proceeding.
We can even petition the court for bifurcation, which allows for the divorce decree to be issued even if the property division settlement has not yet been reached. We can also request attorney fees to help a spouse with fewer resources during proceedings or at the end of the case.
Contact Our Philadelphia Law Firm
Property division involves a lot of steps and strategy. We believe in exploring all of the paths available to you to achieve a settlement that paves the way to a secure and successful future. To learn more, please contact us today to schedule meeting at our Philadelphia offices.