Property division may be one of the most complicated topics to negotiate in a divorce decree. In addition to becoming attached to certain items obtained during the marriage, you may find it difficult to decipher what types of property are considered marital.
In some cases, your spouse may try to hide marital property in an attempt to keep full ownership of it in the final settlement. Both spouses are responsible for disclosing all marital property in their possession during the divorce process.
Equitable division of property
Pennsylvania is one of many states in the nation that follows the equitable division of property model of distribution. That means that all marital property is divided in a way that is fair and equitable, as determined by the judge presiding over the case. Keep in mind this does not always mean that property and assets are divided equally in half.
Types of marital property
When you think of marital property, the family home, vehicles, furniture and bank account contents may come to mind. However, there are several other, less common items that may go overlooked. These include the following:
- Intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents and trademarks
- Expensive collections, such as art, antiques, classic cars and coins
- Memberships to exclusive resorts, golf courses and country clubs
- Lottery ticket winnings and income tax returns
- Frequent flier miles and rewards points
- 401k plans, retirement accounts, term life insurance policies and stock options
Any gifts you and your spouse exchanged with one another during the marriage are also considered marital property. Furthermore, if one spouse lent money to a third-party during the marriage, both spouses are entitled to half one that balance is repaid.