When your spouse brings up divorce, you may have a hard time even considering the idea. It can be difficult to picture your daily life without the presence of someone with whom you have shared many years, if not decades. Even if your relationship has not been great in recent months, you may still have a deep attachment to your spouse.
It is quite common for people to experience intense emotional responses when they learn that their spouse wants a divorce. People often worry about the economic uncertainty that comes with a major life transition and feel concerned about their financial future.
Especially if you don’t have a marital agreement with your spouse, you may feel like you have no way of knowing what will happen with your property when you divorce and what financial resources you will have after your marriage. If you understand how Pennsylvania divides property in a divorce, you may feel a little more confident about moving on with your life.
In Pennsylvania, you either agree or pursue a fair outcome
Spouses still have the right to set their own property division terms at any point before the courts issue a final order. Even if things start out contentious, you may eventually come to an agreement about the best way to divide your property.
You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you and your ex can cooperate with one another and file an uncontested divorce. Tools like mediation can make it easier for you to overcome your current disagreements and reach appropriate solutions for your retirement accounts, real estate and other valuable assets.
If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, then you will have to litigate property division matters. The Pennsylvania family law judge will hear about the details of your marriage and the property that you share to decide the best way to divide those assets. State law imposes an equitable distribution rule. A judge should focus on what would be fair, not necessarily on an even split.
Factors ranging from your child custody arrangements to your individual income can influence what a judge decides is appropriate and fair when dividing your property. Learning about Pennsylvania divorce laws can help you understand what to expect as you work toward marital dissolution.