During a divorce in Pennsylvania, the spouses must work together to determine what is considered marital and non-marital property. In some cases, it is easy to determine which is which. However, in other situations, the lines are blurred and it can be more difficult to make these differentiations. This is where a judge may be helpful to divvy up the personal assets and the marital property in cases where the individuals and lawyers are unable to mediate and come up with a solution that fits the needs and desires of everyone involved.
Many individuals are concerned about their own personal assets within the marriage. These are called non-marital assets or property. These items are separated from the marital estate. Below are some of the more common types of non-marital property:
Items that were obtained before the marriage took place. This may include bank accounts, inheritance, vehicles, furniture, etc., except for any increase in value from date of marriage to date of separation which is considered marital.
If the couple signed pre-nuptial agreements that set forth any assets to be excluded, these must be held up in the court of law when it comes to the separation of assets.
If a spouse receives inheritance from a family member who has passed, the money is considered a personal asset and it should be handled as non-marital property except for the increase in value from date of receipt until date of separation.
In the same way inheritance is considered the property of an individual, any gift that was given before or during the marriage to an individual is considered a personal asset. In most instances, this also applies to engagement and rings, again, except for any increase in value from date of receipt to date of separation.
Even though many of these situations are cut and dry, there can be instances in which these lines have been blurred. For instance, how is it handled if inheritance money was put into a joint checking account that has been used and added to by both parties? This is when it is helpful to obtain the assistance of a lawyer such as Jack A. Rounick.