Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you have already started the divorce process, there are a myriad of points to negotiate in the final divorce settlement. In addition to child custody and visitation schedules, one of the most difficult aspects to tackle is property division.
Pennsylvania, along with many other states, is an equitable division of property state. This means that the judge presiding over the case divides all marital property in a fair and equitable way. To facilitate this, both parties have a responsibility to disclose all marital property in the divorce case.
What is marital property?
Marital property includes all items accumulated during the marriage. While the family home, furniture and vehicles may come to mind, there are other types of marital property that may go unnoticed:
- Expensive collections, such as classic cars, antiques, coins, vehicles or art
- Travel miles and rewards points
- Lottery ticket winnings
- 401k plans, stock options, retirement plans and term life insurance policies
- Exclusive memberships to golf courses and country clubs
- Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights
Get what is rightfully yours
How do you ensure that you receive what you deserve in the final divorce settlement? It is critical to account for all property gained during the marriage, while being careful to keep your separate property out of the mix.
Make sure your spouse is not hiding any property. If he or she keeps certain financial affairs secret or will not disclose passwords or information about certain accounts, you may want to look into whether the court has a correct accounting of all marital property.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.