Divorces are nearly always complicated affairs, but an already stressful and complex situation can be made even more difficult when the spouses filing for divorce own shared property. It’s worth taking a moment to gain a basic understanding of the laws governing the division of shared property prior to making an appointment with a Property Distribution Lawyer in Bethlehem PA. Read on to find out about the basics of property distribution.
Separate, Marital, and Hybrid Property
There are three types of property and assets that are considered during a divorce. Separate assets are owned exclusively by one party in the marriage, marital property is owned by both parties, and hybrid property falls somewhere in between. Unfortunately, while this sounds fairly simple, often determining which category a given piece of property falls into can be quite complicated.
The majority of the separate property consists of possessions or assets acquired prior to the beginning of the marriage or after the couple’s date of separation. Other examples of separate property include inheritances, gifts, and anything acquired using money or resources that predate the marriage.
Marital property is shared by both spouses. Whether this property is to be divided 50/50 or otherwise distributed is an issue that can be handled in two ways. Couples filing for no-fault consensual divorce often hire mediation lawyers to help them amicably resolve the issue of appropriate division of property, while those who are unable to come to amicable terms rely on a court ruling to determine equitable distribution.
This is the most complicated type of marriage asset when it comes to filing for divorce. Often the greater balance of the marital portion of hybrid property or assets is awarded to the spouse who had owned the separate interest in it.
A number of factors, including the age of both parties and they’re respective physical and mental conditions, the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each party, the duration of the marriage, and the circumstances of its dissolution come into play when deciding on an equitable distribution of property. A Property Distribution Lawyer in Bethlehem PA can advise clients as to these and other factors that will be taken into consideration and help them find the best solution. Schedule an appointment today to get started.