Who determines equitable distribution in dividing assets?

Does the lawyer ask for a certain percentage and if both spouses agree it gets done or does a judge just decide? What can I expect?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

So I am guessing that you are going through a divorce and that you do not have legal representation, correct?  Or do you just want to be advised of the law before you actually seek legal help so that you are prepared?  The former is not a god idea.  The latter is a very good idea.  In the state of Pennsylvania, marital assets are divided "equitably" not equally.  Equitably takes in to  account many factors if the decision is left to a court in a trial (a lawyer does not decide but the judge decides).  Now, you and your spouse can come to an agreement as to the division of your marital property and if you both willingly agree to divide assets then a Judge will most likely sign off on the agreement as long as you understand what you are signing.  You need to seek legal help if only on a consultation basis as to what is and is not marital property in your marriage.  You may not realize that pensions are marital property as are assets purchased during the marriage with marital funds regardless of whose name is on the title.  Good luck to you.


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