Media Property Division Lawyer
The longer a couple has been married, the more marital assets (and debts) they have acquired during the marriage, all of which must somehow be divided in a divorce. Some couples are able to work out a property settlement agreement between them. In many cases, however, the couple cannot completely agree, and a judge must hold a hearing to decide how the property should be divided.
The division of marital property in a Pennsylvania divorce is a complex matter. As a Media property division lawyer with more than 30 years of legal experience, Barbara Flum Stein has handled all types divorce litigation, including the most complicated and complex cases. Barbara Flum Stein & Associates is here to fight for you and make sure you are treated fairly and not taken advantage of in the property division in your divorce.
Pennsylvania Law Requires an Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
Unless there is a property settlement agreement or a prenuptial agreement which governs the division of property in a divorce, the judge is required to make an “equitable distribution” of the marital property, which includes assets and debts acquired by either party during marriage. “Equitable” does not mean “equal,” but it does mean “fair.” Although an equal division of property is generally considered fair, it isn’t always possible. Also, there are many factors which can lead the court to decide that an unequal distribution is nevertheless equitable. Many of these factors are similar to the factors used by the judge in determining spousal support and alimony, except that marital misconduct is not a factor in the division of property. Factors considered by the court in making an equitable distribution of marital property include:
- The duration of the marriage
- Any previous marriage by either spouse
- The age and health of the spouses
- The education, income and sources of income for both spouses
- The spouses’ employment ability and earning capacity
- Each spouse’s assets and debts
- Needs of the spouses
- Contributions one spouse made to other’s education or career, or to the home
- Whether one spouse intentionally caused a diminution in value of marital assets
- Each spouse’s separate property
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Tax implications of the property division
- Which parent has sole or primary custody of the kids
How Media Divorce Lawyer Barbara Flum Stein can Help with Pennsylvania Property Division
To protect your rights to a fair property division, you need to make sure that every piece of property is located, that it is properly characterized as marital or separate, and that is accurately valued. Barbara Flum Stein & Associates can help at every step:
Locate Assets – Knowing divorce is coming, a spouse may attempt to hide, transfer or convert assets to keep them from being divided as part of the marital estate. Barbara Flum Stein & Associates can trace and locate hidden assets, utilizing the help of forensic accountants or other experts as needed.
Characterize Property – Property acquired during marriage is marital property, while property acquired before marriage or after separation, or during marriage as a gift or inheritance, is separate property. Yet separate property may be commingled with marital property so that it becomes marital, or it can be shown that the intention was to change the character of separate property to marital (or retain it as separate). We take the time to build a strong case which shows the true nature of the property and the intent of the parties for it to be marital or separate.
Valuation – Some property can be easily valued with a professional appraisal, but it is not always that simple. Barbara Flum Stein is experienced in the proper valuation of complex property, including business valuations, ownership interests, stock options and pension plans, self-employed or self-reported income, imputed income for the unemployed or underemployed, and more. Proper valuation of every marital asset is essential to a fair division of each asset and an equitable distribution of the marital estate as a whole.
Get Help with Property Division from an Experienced Media Property Division Lawyer
For help with the property division in your Pennsylvania divorce, call Media property division lawyer Barbara Flum Stein & Associates at 610-565-6100. We have over 30 years of experience handling contested divorce matters in Delaware County.