If you are getting divorced in Pennsylvania, it is important to understand the property division process to avoid making any mistakes. Here are the three common errors people make.
Not understanding the basic property division laws in Pennsylvania
When going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, the first step you should take is understanding how the state laws might affect you. For starters, Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means a judge will divide your marital property based on their determination of what’s fair for each spouse depending on the unique circumstances of your marriage (PA C.S.A. Title 23 Chapter 35 Section 3502).
Some factors that might play a role in this decision include:
- The duration of your marriage
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- The health and age of each spouse
- The contribution each spouse made to the marriage (including homemaking and childrearing)
- Any instances of marital misconduct (such as infidelity) that affected your finances
Failing to properly account for all of your assets
Correctly accounting for all of their assets can be difficult, especially if you have been married for many years and have accumulated a lot of property. However, it is vital to take the time to go through all of your possessions and make sure that everything is included.
Consider not only big-ticket items like your home and vehicles but also small things like jewelry, furniture, and art. If there are any items that you are particularly attached to, you should try to reach an agreement with your spouse about who will get them in the divorce. If you fail to account for all of your assets, you could end up losing out on something that is important to you.
Hiding assets from your spouse
It can be tempting to hide your assets from your spouse, especially if you have an endearing connection to that item and are worried about losing it in the divorce. But, you should know that hiding assets is illegal in Pennsylvania and can have serious consequences.
Property division can be one of the most challenging and contentious aspects of a divorce, and the only way to make it work is to do it right. Avoid making the above mistakes as they will only worsen the situation.