Philadelphia Asset & Debt Division Lawyer
There are many important issues to address in a Pennsylvania divorce case, and one most parties will face is how to deal with asset and debt division. Spouses accumulate real estate and personal property during the course of the marriage, and they also incur legal and financial obligations. State laws include numerous details about how to divide these interests, but the process can still be complicated.
As such, legal representation is essential to ensuring a fair property distribution. You can trust the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane to protect your interests, as we have more than three decades of experience with divorce cases. Please contact us to schedule a case evaluation with a Philadelphia asset & debt division lawyer, and read on for some background information.
Summary of Pennsylvania Property Division Laws
Though some jurisdictions apply community property rules, equitable distribution principles apply to a Pennsylvania divorce case. There is a two-step analysis for the process:
- Marital v. Separate Assets: Only real estate, personal property, and items acquired during the course of the marriage are subject to the property division process. Legal and financial obligations incurred by the spouses after the wedding date are also included in the evaluation. These assets and debts are classified as marital. Separate property is anything a party owned before getting married, as are gifts and inheritances.
- Equitable Distribution: Once assets and debts are categorized, the statute provides for an equitable division between the parties. This does not mean an exact 50-50 split, but rather a distribution that serves the interests of fairness.
Resolving Disagreements Over Asset and Debt Division
The two-step analysis described above is how a judge would view the property division issue in a contested hearing. However, not all parties need to go to court for a decision on the matter. The laws encourage spouses to agree, both with respect to what is included in the marital estate AND the equitable distribution of assets and debts.
If they cannot reach an agreement on all terms, mediation may be an alternative for resolving disputes. During the session, the parties and their respective attorneys sit down with a trained mediation professional who guides the conversation about property division. It may be possible to compromise through mediation when the parties see eye-to-eye. Mediation is not binding, so you can still take your case before a judge if you are not satisfied with the results
For any outstanding disagreements on asset and debt division, a contested hearing will become necessary. During litigation, the parties can present evidence, testimony, and arguments in favor of their position. The judge applies property division laws to the facts in rendering a decision.
Legal Help with Property Distribution
Our team at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane is knowledgeable about the legal concepts, so you can count on a Pennsylvania asset and debt division attorney to:
- Evaluate property and debts for purposes of determining the marital estate;
- Discuss goals with respect to specific marital assets, such as the family home;
- Develop a strategy to achieve your objectives;
- Advocate on your behalf during settlement negotiations;
- Assist with the mediation process; and,
- Represent you during a contested hearing.
A Philadelphia Asset & Debt Division Lawyer Will Explain Details
This information about property division laws is useful, but it should also convince you of the need for qualified legal representation. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane can provide important details that apply in your divorce case, so please contact us to speak to a Pennsylvania asset & debt division lawyer. We can set up an initial consultation to discuss the relevant concepts.