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.
However, property that a spouse receives through a gift or inheritance is not deemed marital property. As a result, the recipient of the gift or inheritance can usually keep this property, which is known as nonmarital or separate property. If this type of property is sold during the marriage and the proceeds are used to purchase other property, the spouse who provided the funds might end up with a bigger share of division — in proportion to the quantity of the separate property invested.
When going through divorce, figuring out how to handle property division and other financial matters, such as alimony, can be complicated. This is especially true for couples who have assets that are high in value or who have received large inheritances from their parents, for example. However, if both parties are able to see eye to eye, they can resolve these issues without further court intrusion. Otherwise, a judge will have to get involved and make decisions for the couple that may not be what one or both parties would have wanted.
Source: gwinnettcitizen.com, “Divorce — Division of Property“, David Walker, July 30, 2017