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What the Courts Will Consider in Making an "Equitable Distribution"

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There are 11 factors that the courts will review in determining what is the appropriate method to distribute marital assets and liabilities.

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Divorce Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

As discussed in a prior blog article, an equitable distribution made by the courts is sometimes not a simple 50/50 split.  Rather, the courts of PA must consider a list of enumerated statutory factors in determining how the assets will be divided between spouses.  The court may accord these factors different weight in arriving at its conclusion. 

The factors that the court is specifically required to consider are:

  1. The length of the marriage.
  2. Any prior marriage of either party.
  3. The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
  4. The contribution by one party to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other party.
  5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
  6. The sources of income of both parties, including but not limited to medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
  7. 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.
  8. The value of the property set apart to each party.
  9. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
  10. The economic circumstances of each party, at the time the division of property is to become effective.
  11. Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.

There are individual concerns that the court will review within each one of these factors.  Again, courts may always put a higher amount of consideration on one factor over another it considers less important.  It is imperative to have experienced counsel represent you in a divorce proceeding.  You may contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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