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What constitutes an 'equitable' distribution of assets?

When couples divorce, the process of dividing assets can be the greatest obstacle they need to overcome. This is particularly true if there are significant assets at stake.

One challenge is the fact that spouses rarely see eye-to-eye on what is fair with regard to how to divide the marital assets. In situations where spouses cannot reach their own solutions or when there is complicated property involved, the courts will typically make the decision on how to divide assets.

Factors courts consider when determining what is fair

In Pennsylvania, courts comply with equitable distribution laws. This means that each party in a divorce should receive a fair portion of the marital property.

Oftentimes, the courts will divide the assets in half. However, they will consider certain factors that could lead them to award a larger portion of the assets to one party. These factors include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Incomes of each spouse
  • Payment of spousal support
  • Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Tax ramifications of asset division

Based on these and other factors, the courts will determine how to divide assets equitably.

Why high-asset divorces are so complicated

Before the courts can make a ruling on what is fair, though, they will examine which property is eligible for distribution and determine how much the estate is worth.

This can be incredibly complex when there is a lot of money, assets that are difficult to appraise and highly sophisticated assets involved in a divorce. Further complicating the situation is the fact that these cases can also involve allegations of hidden assets as well as especially contentious spouses.

Working with an attorney to secure a fair settlement

Considering all that is involved in the process of reaching a decision with regard to property division in high-asset divorces, it can be critical that you work with an attorney if you are in this situation. An attorney familiar with these types of divorce can help you prepare your case, fight for what you deserve and protect your rights whether you are in court or going through mediation.

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