Guiding You Through Complex Property Division During Your Divorce

Pennsylvania is a "no-fault" state. This means that marital misconduct-adultery, abuse, desertion, etc.-is not considered in the division of marital assets. Pennsylvania is not a "community property" (50/50) state; it is an equitable distribution state.

Equitable distribution means that a number of factors are considered in the division of assets, including but not limited to:

  1. The length of the marriage;
  2. Any prior marriage of either party;
  3. The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties;
  4. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
  5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
  6. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or benefits;
  7. The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker;
  8. The value of the property set apart to each party;
  9. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  10. The economic circumstances of each party, including Federal, State and local tax ramifications, at the time the division of property is to become effective;
  11. Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependant minor children.

Each county has its own procedure which must be followed if a request is made for the court to make a determination as to how the assets should be divided. Generally, while this is not the law, there is an initial presumption of 50/50 division and it depends upon the argument of each of the attorneys advocating their client's position as to whether the division will be greater or lesser than equal.