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Questions about Distribution of Marital Property

When facing a divorce or the death of a loved one, division of property — also known as equitable distribution — can often take on a new meaning in a person’s life. Dividing personal property and assets during a divorce or after a death can lead to many legal questions and disputes. Below are five of the top questions about division of property that have been answered by the Lawyers on JustAnswer.

If a spouse is requesting equitable distribution, would they be entitled to the home equity if the home was purchased before the marriage?

Usually the spouse would not be entitled to the equity in the home unless the spouse had made contributions to it during the marriage. If your spouse is seeking equitable distribution, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want anything additional. Asking for equitable distribution is a standard request in a divorce petition and the spouse usually wants their separate property and share of community property.

Can a will state that nothing be divided from an estate until both spouses are dead?

Generally, you can’t specify that nothing be distributed until both parties are deceased unless your assets are placed into a trust or entered into a will contract with your spouse. There are several different ways to ensure that your wishes will be handled in the way that you want. You could use a living will, an irrevocable trust or a will contract. Your specific circumstances could determine which one you should use. If you are unclear about the best course of action, you could ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for Expert opinion and insights on the specifics of your case.

With regard to equitable distribution of property, if there is a large difference in incomes, which spouse would the judge be likely to favor with the distribution of property and assets?

Generally, the amount of money that each spouse earns will have little impact on the distribution of marital assets. It will however have an impact on the amount of alimony to which the disadvantaged party is entitled.

Is there a code in PA about the distribution on marital property before divorce proceedings when one party isn't consenting to the divorce?

PA is an equitable distribution state. This means that the distribution of the marital property may or may not be equal — it should be fair. If one of the parties chooses to contest the divorce, unless there are grounds for the divorce, the divorce will not be granted. Once the divorce is granted, the property will then need to be distributed.

Can a child from a previous marriage be entitled to assets in the event of a current spouse’s death?

In order for a child from a previous marriage to be entitled to assets of a current spouse, that spouse would first have to adopt the child. In the absence of an adoption, the current spouse could also place a provision in the will granting the child something. Anything that a spouse owns can be willed to the child. This includes certain items that may be jointly owned with the spouse. In addition, the spouse’s individual property would be theirs to dispose of as they wish.

Divorce and death can be tragic events in a person’s life. Both also have significant legal implications and can lead to disputes. Many questions can arise during these trying times and you may feel the need for an experienced person with legal knowledge. You shouldn’t risk your future on friendly opinions of your family and friends in a situation like this – however well-intentioned they may be. If you have questions regarding distribution of property, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer. The Experts on JustAnswer can answer your legal questions and offer you a solution to your problems in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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