In general, when couples in Doylestown and other parts of Bucks County are going through a divorce, one of the issues they must deal with is property division or equitable distribution of property and assets. Issues associated with divorces are often emotionally charged. When one of the spouses is a homemaker or a stay at home mom, they often face additional emotional stress and extra challenges.
For instance, the husband of a couple living in Doylestown, PA wants a divorce after 10 years of marriage. The couple has 2 young kids who are 7 and 5 years old. The couple made a decision that the wife would stay home with the kids after the birth of their oldest child. Now that the husband wants a divorce, the stay at home mom is understandably worried about her children and her financial stability.
The wife has no assets. During the marriage, her husband acquired property and investments solely in his name. She is worried that the property and investments in her husband’s name will not be subject to property division in the divorce.
In addition, she does not have a job. How is she going to support her kids after the divorce? Though she is determined to get a job, she is worried about her employability, considering she’s been out of the workforce for the last 7 years.
Property Division in PA Divorces – Title is Irrelevant
Just because marital property or assets are in one spouse’s name does not mean such property or assets are not subject to equitable distribution in a Doylestown divorce. Under Pennsylvania divorce law, property titles are irrelevant when determining whether property or assets are marital or non-marital. If property or assets were acquired during the marriage, they are subject to equitable distribution. In other words, if a divorcing couple’s family home is only in the husband’s name, but was acquired during marriage, the house is subject to equitable distribution. It is important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule, and it is best for divorcing couples to talk to an experienced Doylestown and Newtown divorce lawyer.
A common question many stay at home moms or spouses have about equitable distribution is whether the marital property is divided equally. The answer is no. Despite the term “equitable distribution,” courts often consider multiple factors to determine division of property. After considering all of the factors, a court may award one party more than half of the property, and in some instances, the majority of the property.
Dividing Property and Assets Without Court Intervention
Reaching an agreement on property division in PA divorce cases does not necessarily require extensive court involvement. Parties can settle amicably and divide their property through property settlement agreements or marital settlement agreements. However, it is best to have an experienced Bucks County equitable distribution lawyer draft these agreements.