Divorce Forms

There are a number of forms required to be submitted to the court in the course of a divorce where a claim for equitable distribution of marital assets has been raised. An Inventory and Appraisement form has each party identify all the assets and debts at issue in the case. Values or balances at the […]

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

Once you have identified your marital property, the next step is reaching an equitable distribution. Equitable distribution in Pennsylvania is not an automatic 50/50 split. Instead, there are thirteen (13) factors to be considered by the court in determining the appropriate division of a marital property. A few of the factors include the length of […]

Dividing Investment Accounts

Investment accounts that are opened or funded during the marriage will be considered marital property and up for division in the context of a divorce. Investment accounts present an additional consideration when it comes to division due to fluctuating value based on the market. The balance in these accounts is subject to various gains and […]

Railroad Pensions

Retirement benefits are one of the assets that may be up for division in a divorce action. If you or your spouse was a railroad employee, there are a few things to keep in mind with respect to equitable distribution of a railroad retirement benefit. First, railroad retirement is comprised of two components: Tier I […]

Dividing the Family Cars in a Divorce

When couples begin the divorce process, all assets and liabilities need to be listed and valued in order to determine division between the spouses. Negotiation often involves one spouse being given certain assets in exchange for other assets of the same value – and greater need or emotional attachment are values along with cost that […]

Issues When Dividing Vacation Properties in Divorce

In Pennsylvania, if a divorcing couple cannot come to an agreement outside of court, all marital assets will be divided according to equitable distribution, which means, effectively, whatever the court thinks is appropriate after considering a number of factors. As long as both parties are reasonable, we encourage divorcing couples to avoid court so they […]

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

When most people think of property, they think only of assets, but debts are also considered property for the purpose of a divorce settlement. In order to divide assets and debts between the spouses, a thorough listing and determination of status is needed. That status can be marital, non-marital, or a combination of the two. […]

Do We Need a QDRO?

If your spouse has a retirement plan or pension and you are entitled to share in the distributions, you absolutely need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). In fact, a plan’s administrator is not permitted to distribute funds to anyone but the participant without a QDRO. A Domestic Relations Order (DRO) is an order or […]

Market Experience on Accounts

Certain accounts that may be considered marital property and up for division in the context of a divorce can have fluctuating value based on the market. For example, mutual funds, stock benefits, 401ks, and annuities will reflect gains and losses that can change daily. Similar to other assets, the cut-off date for value purposes is […]

How to Divide Your Retirement Plan

Retirement plans are often one of the significant assets up for distribution in the course of a divorce. Careful attention should be given to the type of retirement plan at issue to avoid tax penalties and/or early withdrawal penalties to the extent possible. Additionally, the type of retirement plan will dictate what will be necessary […]