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High-Asset Property Division: Does “Equitable” Mean “Equal?”

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In any Pennsylvania or New Jersey divorce that is prominently marked by significant assets, the affected parties will understandably have material concerns regarding the ultimate distribution of so-called “marital property.”

That term connotes both assets and debt obligations that a married couple in either state acquired during their marriage (as distinguished from nonmarital assets; we will address and clarify the distinction in a future post). Marital property in both states is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce outcome.

Many readers of our legal blog might reasonably harbor some questions and concerns regarding how “equitable” will play out in a given dissolution.

What exactly does it mean from a legal perspective?

As we point out on a website page devoted to divorce-related property distribution at the family law firm of Petrelli Previtera, LLC, it “does not mean a 50-50 split of all marital assets.”

Rather, the judicial emphasis on equitable asset division is centrally on overall fairness, which is heavily fact-specific and dependent on unique factors in every divorce.

Although an equitable outcome is of course fundamentally important to any divorcing party, defining it and securing the requisite fairness can be comparatively complex in the case of a high-net-worth divorce.

We note that reality as well on our site, pointing out that asset protection often “becomes a significant part of the divorce process” where myriad high-value assets are involved.

And that is because the property mix in a high-asset divorce is often multi-sourced and not immediately apparent in a comprehensive way. Wealth can reside in multiple investment vehicles, various realty holdings, professional practices and/or other businesses, high-value art or other memorabilia collections and offshore accounts, with many additional possibilities.

Identifying, accurately valuing, and helping to secure a fair divorce result for a client is the work of a proven high-asset divorce attorney.

The attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC assume that role proudly, delivering passionate, client-empathetic, and results-driven advocacy to a diverse range of clients.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

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