Stewart, McArdle, Sorice, Whalen, Farrell, Finoli & Cavanaugh, LLC
866.601.9627 724.610.9914
View Our Practice Areas

Greensburg Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Property division handled equitably in Pennsylvania

Going through a marital split-up in Pennsylvania is never a straightforward process. After all, each divorce is different, and no matter how lengthy or short a marriage was, untangling finances and emotions can be a difficult feat. One area that of divorce that often causes conflict is property division.

In Pennsylvania, courts adhere to the concept of equitable distribution. In other words, all marital property is split in an equitable manner. Marital property is any property that the couple attained while they were married.

Prenup can address property division in event of divorce

Marriage does not always work out for a variety of reasons, including irreconcilable differences. In this situation, having a prenuptial agreement on hand can be helpful for determining how property division should be handled as part of the divorce. However, other issues are also important to address in a Pennsylvania prenuptial agreement.

First, it is easy to overlook a furry friend when putting together a prenuptial agreement. If a couple owns a dog together, for instance, it may be beneficial for them to address any ownership issues regarding the pet in their agreement, along with any additional pets they may get in the future. This includes clearly outlining who will get to keep the pets and who will be financially responsible for them.

Seeking guidance when the future of your business is at stake

If you and your spouse have decided to take separate paths, you may have concerns about how the outcome of your divorce might affect your life moving forward. Chances are, you will likely want to protect your financial future during such a potentially stressful and daunting life event, but you might be uncertain how to pursue this goal.

Perhaps you own a business and subsequently wonder what will happen to it throughout this process. There may be certain steps you can take to safeguard the future of your business during divorce.

Property division during divorce can impact retirement plans

Getting divorced in Pennsylvania can be a financial shocker no matter how long a couple has been married. However, the longer two people are married, the more that is likely at stake when it comes to property division. This is particularly true for those who are close to retiring.

Following a divorce, it is common for a spouse's household income to significantly drop, even though the living expenses do not. In fact, without two incomes, the spouse may no longer be able to defer a portion of his or her salary into a 401(k) plan or another plan sponsored by an employer. After all, he or she must meet his or her living expenses first.

Divorce misconceptions deal with property division, child custody

Getting divorced in Pennsylvania is a challenging experience no matter how long or short of a time two people were married. However, the large amount of confusing and unreliable information on the internet, particularly regarding matters such as property division, has made divorce even more complicated. A couple of the two biggest misconceptions about the dissolution of a marriage have to do with child custody and the family home.

First, it is commonly believed that custody laws in each state are the same. The truth is that laws differ by state; for instance, some states use the term custody to describe the time spent with children, whereas other states use the term parenting time. Finding the proper laws for Pennsylvania online can be challenging as well, which is why having an attorney on your divorce team is so critical.

Discovery process has impact on property division

The process of getting divorced in Pennsylvania is multifaceted, with one of the steps of this type of family law proceeding being the discovery process. Discovery essentially involves the exchange of information between the two spouses getting divorced. This information is related to financial, economic and personal matters that can impact the property division process and other divorce issues.

Discovery is helpful for determining how to divide property in a fair way between two divorcing spouses as well as how to address any alimony and child support matters. This process is sometimes informal and sometimes relatively rigid. Most likely everything and anything relevant to the divorce will be addressed at one point or another during the discovery phase -- especially if the divorce proceedings are contentious, with emotions running high.

Reasons why a prenup might be a good choice for you

Lately, you've been spending your days dreaming of the wedding bells you and the love of your life will be hearing in a few short months. You and your closest confidants have been shopping, planning, laughing and sharing as you prepare for your Pennsylvania wedding.

So many details have gone into the preparations, everything from what color flowers you'd like to see on the tables at your reception to how many guests you'll invite, where the ceremony will take place, and whether you'll opt for a traditional bride and groom dance song or surprise your attendees with something wild and crazy. In addition to wedding decor and post-ceremony celebrations, you and your intended have been discussing a more serious topic as well, namely, whether to sign a premarital contract.

Biding time may be helpful while preparing for divorce mediation

Divorce is never easy in Pennsylvania, as the process involves two spouses who must figure out how to untangle their lives both emotionally and financially. This can be especially tricky for those who have been married for an extensive period of time. However, in addition to trying divorce mediation, where both parties try to resolve their disputes without further court intrusion, one way in which divorcing spouses may be able to protect their best interests during this type of family law proceeding is to bide their time.

Biding one's time is simply not an option in many situations, but if applicable, delaying a divorce proceeding may be beneficial for those bordering on financial milestones. One example is if a spouse is getting close to becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65. For those close to this age who will end up losing their health insurance coverage due to leaving their spouses' insurance plans following divorce, waiting may end up saving them a lot of money. After all, Medicare can be much cheaper than individual health plans or COBRA plans.

Collaborative divorce may help with property division

Getting divorced in Pennsylvania can be challenging from both an emotional and a financial viewpoint, but sometimes it is simply inevitable. Divorce can be especially difficult if the two spouses have trouble finding common ground when it comes to matters such as property division. Fortunately, collaborative divorce offers a more efficient and private path to dissolving a marriage.

Collaborative divorce is a structured process that allows a family to go through divorce without necessarily having to go to court. During this type of family law proceeding, each party has his or her own attorney advocating for him or her. The focus is to achieve the wants and needs of the entire family while protecting everyone's best interests.

Divorce mediation involves multiple steps

The dissolution of a marriage is inherently complex, so it can quickly feature unpleasant surprises. However, understanding the general steps of a divorce proceeding in Pennsylvania may help to put one's mind more at ease. These steps apply to a divorce proceeding that involves divorce mediation as well, where both parties agree to try to find common ground and reach a divorce settlement outside of court.

First, an attorney of one spouse drafts a divorce petition, or complaint, which details why the spouse seeks a divorce and how this party would like to handle custody, financial and other matters. This petition is filed with the court. It's then served on the other spouse, who will typically want to respond to it. If the complaint is not answered formally, the party sued could lose certain legal rights.


Stewart, McArdle, Sorice, Whalen, Farrell, Finoli & Cavanaugh, LLC

Main Office
229 South Maple Avenue
Greensburg, PA 15601

Map & Directions

Crabtree Office
Crabtree Branch Office
Rt. 119 North
Crabtree, PA 15624

Map & Directions

Ligonier Office
Ligonier Branch Office
610 West Main St.
Ligonier, PA 15658

Map & Directions

Additional offices