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Property division is all about equitable distribution

After the divorce papers are served, the question of what happens to property and assets accumulated over the course of marriage is likely to arise. Property division is a critical stage in any divorce case and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, readers should learn more about the process so they can make sound decisions in the event they find themselves dealing with such a complicated issue.

Generally, all property or assets obtained during marriage is called marital property. Individuals should understand that any property obtained during marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property's title, is likely to be divvied up between divorcing spouses. Some of the most common marital properties are houses, cars, stocks, bonds, pensions and debts. Here in Pennsylvania, property division focuses on equitable distribution. This means that the distribution of property should be fair but fair does not always mean completely equal. Courts consider several factors in determining fairness during property division, including the length of marriage, the contribution of one party to the education and career advancement of the other, the standard of living, age, health, sources of income, employability, liabilities and many other factors.

However, spouses can prevent the court from intervening with property division by creating their own divorce agreement on how to distribute marital property. This can be done through numerous civil approaches such as mediation and collaborative law. If both parties can set aside their emotional differences and focus on important issues like property division, they can certainly make an agreement that is fair and just for both parties. Though this may sound difficult at first, the willingness of each party to cooperate can benefit both sides.

Property division requires legal guidance to ensure that everything is handled according to the law. Divorcing individuals need to understand that the outcome of the divorce issues depends on how it was handled.

Source: Womenslawproject.org, "Divorce in Philadelphia County," Accessed on Jan. 22, 2015

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