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Philadelphia Property Division Lawyers

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Distribution of Marital Property

One of the most challenging parts of divorce proceedings is the division of the assets and debts of the marriage. It involves taking everything you acquired during your marriage and literally splitting it into “yours and mine.” Property division during divorce is often a complicated and emotionally charged process, and there is potential to make decisions that are not in your best long-term interests.

While some property is easy to distribute, other assets are increasingly complex to divide. Besides, there are important tax considerations that are likely to have an impact on how your assets are divided during divorce.

It is, therefore, critical to work with an attorney who understands the legal, financial, practical, and emotional aspects of property division to help you achieve a fair distribution of your marital property.

Dependable Advice in Property Division Disputes in Philadelphia

At Petrelli Previtera LLC, we know the law. We are experts in property division law in Philadelphia and care about you. We can help you identify, set the value of, and divide your family’s marital property in a way that protects your interests.

We make a careful investigation and analysis of your family’s property and debts, then help you set priorities and present your best case to the courts. Contact us today and schedule a money-back guaranteed consultation with our law office in Philadelphia. Let’s secure your rights and safeguard your property now.

How Is Property Divided During Divorce in Philadelphia? 

The principle of equitable distribution governs property division during divorce in Philadelphia. Equitable distribution doesn’t necessarily mean a 50-50 split but rather a fair and just division of marital assets, taking into account different factors and circumstances unique to each case.

Factors for Determining Equitable Distribution in Philadelphia

Some of the factors that the courts in Philadelphia consider when determining equitable distribution include the following:

  • Length of your marriage
  • Tax consequences/implications of dividing the assets
  • Your living standards
  • Who will be the custodian for minor children
  • Your income and debt
  • Pensions and retirement benefits
  • Spousal support from a prior marriage
  • Your ability to earn or find new income
  • Contributions to, preservation of, or dissipation of assets (including as homemaker)
  • Your age and health 

The courts do not consider fault or marital misconduct as a factor when determining fair distribution of marital property during divorce.

Marital Vs. Non-marital Property During Divorce in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia property law classifies assets as marital (community) or non-marital (separate) property. Marital assets are subject to equitable distribution, while non-marital assets are typically exempt from fair distribution.

1. Marital Property

Marital property refers to assets acquired from the date of marriage through the date of separation. According to the Philadelphia state law, anything you purchase during the period of time considered as “the marriage” is marital property regardless of how it is titled or who paid for it. Such property is subject to equitable distribution.

For instance, if a property you purchased during marriage is listed in one spouse’s name, the law considers that as marital property, and each of you is entitled to a fair share of the property.

Marital property may include:

  • Real and personal property —homes, motor vehicles, boats, jewelry, electronics
  • Family businesses — partnerships, sole proprietorships, joint ventures
  • Retirement funds — IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, deferred compensation
  • Investment portfolios — stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on
  • Financial accounts — checking, savings, money markets and insurance holdings

2. Separate Property (Non-marital Property)

Separate property includes the assets you acquired before marriage, after separation, as a gift, or inheritance. The following assets are considered separate property in Philadelphia and are exempt from equitable distribution during divorce.

  • Assets you acquired before the marriage
  • Inheritance and gifts
  • Assets acquired after you and your partner separate
  • Assets excluded from the marital estates through a valid postnuptial or prenuptial agreement
  • Certain veterans’ benefits
  • A settlement for an award of a claim that accrued before your marriage or after separation

Although the Philadelphia law does not provide for the division of separate property, there is an exemption. For example, when the value of a separate asset appreciates during marriage, the law considers the appreciated amount as a marital asset. Also, mixing your non-marital assets with marital assets can cause the non-marital property to lose its protected status.

Marital Debt in Philadelphia

Debts that either of you incur after the date of your marriage and before the separation are considered marital debts and are subject to equitable distribution in Philadelphia. In other words, you and your ex-partner are both responsible for marital debts, even when only one of you incurred the debts.

Marital debts generally include loans, mortgages, credit card bills, tax obligations, etc.

Date of Separation

The date of separation is critical in classifying property as separate or marital—assets acquired after the separation are considered separate property and cannot be divided. Under the law, separation begins once you start living “separate and apart.” In plain English, this is where you no longer relate with your partner or hold out to the world as a married couple.

You don’t have to live in different households to be considered separated, albeit this type of separation is difficult to prove. Once you have identified the date of separation, you will also need to establish the date of purchase. Knowing the correct dates helps in accurate classification and safeguards your assets.

Working with an experienced property division attorney in Philadelphia can help you determine and prove the dates in a court of law during the property division process to protect your interests.

How We Can Help

At Petrelli Previtera LLC, we have decades of experience helping divorcing couples negotiate equitable property division while honoring their needs and priorities. Besides world-class attorneys, our team has a unique network of highly qualified specialists (including CPAs, Retirement Evaluators, Divorce Financial Planners, Real Estate Appraisers, Realtors, etc.) to help you get an equitable share of your marital property. 

Here are some of the ways we can help you with:

  • Identifying, valuing, and dividing marital assets:We will work with you to identify all the assets subject to division and ensure that they are properly valued. We also work with a team of experts to ensure full financial disclosures and fair distribution while uncovering any hidden assets.
  • Negotiating property settlements: We also negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive an equitable share of the marital assets.
  • Handling complex financial issues: Often, property division during divorce involves complex assets and financial issues such as tax implications, stock options, retirement accounts, business ownership interests, and business valuation. We hold your hand and walk the journey with you, giving you dependable advice on complex matters as they arise.

Our primary goal is to help you navigate the complexities of property division and ensure that your best interests are protected throughout the divorce process. For more information on how we can help, feel free to Contact us at (866) 465-5395, and we will gladly assist.

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.

Serving Clients at the Following Locations

Philadelphia1845 Walnut Street 19th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103(215) 523-6900view details
Montgomery County516 DeKalb Street Suite C Norristown, PA 19401(610) 924-2870view details
Doylestown123 N Broad Street, Doylestown, PA 18901(267) 938-4480view details
Abington1147 Easton Road, Abington PA 19001(610) 890-4833view details
West Chester203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380
(610) 431-4012view details
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