Dividing property, including real estate, tends to be a hot topic in a typical Pennsylvania divorce case. A number of different legal requirements and considerations come into play when real estate is involved in a divorce proceeding.
Marital Real Estate
Legally speaking, the only real estate subject to division in a divorce case is what is known as marital real estate. As a general rule, marital real estate is property that was obtained during the course of a marriage. The most common example of marital real estate typically is residential real estate. In divorce proceedings, this property typical is referred to as the marital residence.
Separate Real Estate
Unlike marital real property, separate real estate is not subject to division in divorce proceedings. An example of separate real estate is a property that one of the spouses wholly owned prior to the marriage. In other words, the property was fully paid for and no marital assets went towards mortgage payments on the real estate in question.
Equitable Division of Real Estate
Pennsylvania is what is known as an equitable division state. In fact, most states in the U.S.A. utilized the equitable division standard when it comes to real property and other types of property.
The equitable division standard requires that marital real estate be fairly divided between divorcing spouses. The division need not be precisely equal; rather, it must be divided in a manner that is just and equitable under the circumstances of a particular case.
The marital residence can prove to be a challenge when it comes to dividing real estate in a divorce case. A variety of different issues commonly are associated with the marital residence. A common scenario is a case in which one spouse wishes to continue to reside in the marital residence. For example, the parent with primary custody of the children may have an understandable desire to remain in the marital residence to raise the kids.
Resolving the types of complicated legal issues that can surround a marital residence underscores the importance of a skilled lawyer in a divorce case. The assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer best ensures a fair resolution of issues associated with the marital residence.