West Chester PA family lawyer, Joshua A. Janis is a member of Ciccarelli Law Offices, which is located in Chester County Pennsylvania and represents divorce, custody, support and family law clients in Exton, Kennett Square, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, West Grove, Avondale, Oxford, Landenberg, Westtown, Parkesburg, Honey Brook and Glenmore. Ciccarelli Law Offices also serves the five county Philadelphia area, including Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, and Montgomery counties and has locations to meet you in Springfield, Wayne, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Center City Philadelphia, and Lancaster. Disclaimer. Learn more by contacting Ciccarelli Law Offices.
212 West Gay Street West Chester PA 19348 (610) 692-8700
Joshua A. Janis, Esquire Ciccarelli Law Offices
Equitable Distribution in Chester County PA
Spouses who wish to divorce often have assets and debts that need to be divided as part of the divorce process. In Pennsylvania, the term "equitable distribution" is the legal term for the process of dividing the marital assets and marital debts. If spouses who are going through the divorce process in PA are unable to agree about the division of their marital assets and marital debts, the spouses may elect to engage in the formal court process for equitable distribution. The decision of whether to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or utilize possibly a trial often involves a cost-benefit analysis.
Pennsylvania law allows separate or nonmarital assets to generally escape the equitable distribution process. Nonmarital property includes pre-marital assets (property that a spouse brought into the marriage), inheritances received by one party during the marriage, gifts to a spouse other than from the other spouse, property sold or disposed of in good faith during the marriage and property excluded by a valid prenuptial agreement. However, the increase in value during the marriage of nonmarital property may be considered a marital asset if the increase in value was not excluded from consideration in a antenuptial agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement). Furthermore, if a husband or wife decides to use some premarital or nonmarital funds for a common purpose, such as purchasing a home in joint tenancy, those funds normally will be converted from non-marital property to marital property.
Marital assets include property and income acquired during the marriage. A home, business owned by the parties, furniture, retirement accounts, other investments and motor vehicles purchased during the marriage are examples of marital assets. In these examples, the particular asset may be considered to be a marital asset even if it was acquired in only one spouse's name as long as it was acquired during the marriage and was not acquired through the use of the spouse's non-marital assets. Some assets may have both a marital and non-marital component. In that case, the non-marital value of the asset is excluded from the PA equitable distribution process.
Speak to Pennsylvania Divorce lawyer Joshua Janis for advice on whether a marriage settlement agreement or the equitable distribution process is best for you. To schedule a consultation click here or reach us by telephone at (610)-692-8700.
West Chester PA Divorce Lawyer – Equitable Distribution Rights in Exton – Marital Property Law in Chester County Pennsylvania