Question: I recently discovered my husband has been unfaithful. I want a divorce. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 5 years and have put my career on hold for him and our family. We live in Doylestown, and I want to stay in the home. How will the court divide our marital property and assets? Will I get more of our property and assets because he cheated on me?
Answer: In Pennsylvania, courts will divide marital assets through a method called equitable distribution. There are factors set out by statute that the court has to consider when dividing marital assets.
Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean that the marital assets will be divided equally. A party may receive more of the marital estate after the court considers relevant factors pursuant to the law. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- The length of the marriage.
- Any prior marriage of either party.
- The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
For a discussion of all relevant factors, see Equitable Distribution: How Do Courts Divide Marital Assets in Bucks County Divorces?
When a party cheats on his or her spouse, it has no impact on how the marital assets are divided. However, it may have an impact on other issues in a divorce action, such as alimony. Visit our PA divorce library for more information.
It is important to note that you may resolve how the marital estate will be divided without going to court. You may resolve the issue privately with your soon-to-be-ex without involving the court.
If the issue cannot be resolved between the parties, Bucks county divorce actions that involve property distribution disputes will be reviewed by a Family Master first. At the Master’s Hearing, the Master will make recommendations as to how the property should be divided. If parties can come to an agreement under the framework of the Master’s recommendations, then there is no need to go to court. However, if parties cannot come to an agreement, then the issue will be decided before a judge. For a detailed discussion of a Master’s Hearing in Bucks County divorces, see Doylestown and Newtown Divorce Cases – Master’s Hearing for Equitable Distribution of the Marital Estate.
It is best that you discuss your case with a Bucks County divorce lawyer who can answer all of your questions regarding equitable distribution in a Pennsylvania divorce. Feel free to call our office to schedule an appointment.