Bucks County Divorce Lawyers – Property Division and Equitable Distribution
A divorce can have significant short-term and long-term financial consequences. It is understandable for divorcing couples to be worried about their financial stability. At Zlock, P.C., our equitable distribution and divorce lawyers have assisted many clients in Doylestown, Newtown and other parts of Bucks County through the difficult and complicated process of divorce. We are firm yet reasonable in negotiations. This approach has yielded excellent results for our clients.
How Will My Property Be Divided in a Bucks County Divorce?
The Bucks County divorce lawyers at Zlock, P.C. represent clients with small and large marital estates. We can assist you in equitable property division, including:
- Retirement accounts – Dividing QDROs, Pensions, IRAs, 401K Plans
- The Marital Home and additional real estate
- Family operated or closely-held businesses
- Stocks, mutual funds, and other investment assets
- Personal property
There are many factors at play in determining how your property will be divided. This will require the designation of separate and marital (sometimes called “community”) property. Our firm’s divorce lawyers have the experience and legal sophistication necessary to handle any marital property division issue that may arise during your divorce.
What is Equitable Distribution?
Divorcing couples may agree upon how to divide their assets and property through an agreement. However, when they cannot agree on how to divide their property, Pennsylvania courts have to step in to distribute the property through a process called equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution is a three step process:
- Identify marital property and assets,
- Valuate the identified marital property and assets, and
- Distribute the marital property and assets.
What Marital Property and Assets are Subject to Equitable Distribution?
In general, marital property includes all property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of title. In other words, it does not matter whose name the property is in, it is marital property so long as it was acquired during the marriage. There are some exceptions to this general rule, and it is best to consult with an experienced Doylestown and Newtown divorce lawyer.
Some divorcing couples may have lived together and acquired property together prior to getting married. However, property acquired during cohabitation prior to marriage is not marital property, and thus, not subject to equitable distribution.
Does Equitable Distribution Mean a 50/50 Property Split?
Not necessarily. Contrary popular belief, equitable distribution does not mean that marital property is distributed evenly between the divorcing couple. The courts weigh many factors in equitable distribution, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of each spouse, who has child custody, and more. While is it possible that assets could be split evenly between spouses, this is not the goal of the court.
High-End Divorces in Bucks County
For divorcing couples who have high net worth, the value of assets and property subject to equitable distribution is much higher. Therefore, it is important to consult with a divorce lawyer who has the skill, knowledge and expertise in handling high-end divorce cases.
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