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Equitable Distribution Starts with Dividing Marital Property in Half, but It Doesn’t End There

May 27, 2020

If you Google “my ex is,” the world’s smartest search engine will probably suggest a colorful assortment of choice words about the financial behavior of people’s former spouses. My ex is a cheapskate. My ex is a deadbeat. A gold digger. Lazy. A charlatan. Gullible. Materialistic. Greedy. The perfect victim for multi-level marketing business opportunities. People’s financial choices are tied up with strong emotions, and when deciding what is fair, that is, in determining equitable distribution, divorce courts must look carefully at the facts behind the emotions. Divorce cases can be difficult when it is obvious that your ex could change their financial situation for the better but refuses to. Maybe your ex-wife’s identity is tied to her being a stay-at-home mother even though your youngest child is in high school, or maybe your ex-husband is a serial entrepreneur who thinks that salaried jobs are for chumps, but the only time he has ever has a stable income was when he was doing chump work to raise money for his next business venture. If you need help showing the divorce court the truth about your family’s financial situation, contact Iwanyshyn & Associates in Allison Park.

The Delicate Art of Equitable Distribution

In family law, marital property is property acquired during the marriage; it is subject to division in a divorce. Some states, including California, are community property states, where the divorce court awards half of the marital property to each spouse, regardless of the length of the marriage, the spouses’ employment history, or any other factor. Pennsylvania, by contrast, is an equitable distribution state. The goal of equitable distribution is to have both spouses enjoy the same level of financial stability after the divorce as they did before it. No one goes from a mansion to a studio apartment just because they got divorced. If you earned $200,000 per year at the end of your 25-year marriage, and your wife permanently left the workforce when your first child was born, the court will have to do some fairly fancy math to make sure that your wife doesn’t walk away empty-handed from a marriage in which she invested 25 years, even though you were the primary source of income.

Hiding marital assets, such as by titling them in other people’s names, will always work against you. So, does intentionally wasting money or destroying property in the years leading up to your divorce. The court will always find out what is fair. If it arrives at an unjust decision, contact a family law attorney to help you modify it.

Iwanyshyn & Associates Helps Resolve Equitable Distribution Issues

Equitable distribution isn’t possible until the court has all the facts. Contact Iwanyshyn & Associates in Pittsburgh about equitable distribution cases.