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The property division process in Pennsylvania

Property division is an important concern for divorcing spouses. In Pennsylvania, equitable property division rules are followed when dividing marital property. Marital property is generally subject to division when a couple in Pennsylvania makes the decision to divorce. Marital property includes property that is acquired or income that is earned during the marriage.

By contrast, property that is considered separate property is not generally subject to division when a couple makes the decision to divorce. Separate property typically refers to the property that one spouse enters the marriage with or property one spouse receives as a gift or as an inheritance during the marriage. Marital property, but not separate property, is subject to property division according to equitable property division rules in Pennsylvania.

How property is classified is important to the court's task of determining how property will be divided. Equitable property division refers to a fair division of property which is not necessarily a division of property in half. The family law court will seek to fairly divide property between the divorcing spouses. Divorcing couples are encouraged to reach agreements themselves concerning divorce-related concerns such as property division whenever possible. When it is not possible, the family law court process steps in to help.

There are a variety of different types of property that may need to be divided during a divorce, including business interests and assets in some situations. When dividing property, the court will look to considerations such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of the spouses, the income and liabilities of each spouse and several other factors to help them reach a fair property division agreement and it certainly helps for divorcing couples to be familiar with that process.

Source:, "Pennsylvania Marital Property Laws," Accessed Sept. 5, 2017

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