Divorce courts are given some discretion to apply equitable distribution in the process of dividing marital assets between divorcing spouses. The financial status of each divorcing party is the primary factor of consideration in an equitable distribution settlement, though the court can exercise further discretion in determining distribution.
A judge applying equitable distribution in a divorce will make a determination on how the property will be split between the spouses based on:
- The length of the marriage.
- Any prior marriage of either party.
- The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
- The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
- The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
- The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
- The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
- The value of the property set apart to each party.
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective.
- The Federal, State and local tax ramifications associated with each asset to be divided, distributed or assigned, which ramifications need not be immediate and certain.
- The expense of sale, transfer or liquidation associated with a particular asset, which expense need not be immediate and certain.
- Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.
23 Pa.C.S. § 3502(a).
An experienced divorce attorney at Elite Divorce Lawyer can help you wade through the complicated and emotional process of equitable distribution to make sure your marital property and assets are divided in a fair and impartial process to protect your interests and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.