The key question in nearly all divorce matters is the division of property.  Spouses typically have property acquired before the marriage, during the marriage, and after the marriage.  Under 23 Pa.C.S. §3501, marital property is defined as all property acquired by either spouse during a marriage and the increase in value of non-marital property. The “entirety” of the marriage is from the date of marriage to the date of separation.  Any property acquired or any growth of a marital asset after date of separation is non-marital property, unless marital funds are used to acquire the new asset.  The increase in value of non-marital property may be offset by losses on non-marital property. For example, if one spouse brings two investment accounts to a marriage as pre-marital property, the gain in one account may be decreased by the loss in the other account.

You can control how property passes.  For example, marital property can also be excluded through a pre-nuptial agreement. And gifts and inheritances from others are excluded from marital property even if received during the marriage.  A gift or inheritance to one spouse will remain as the sole property of the spouse if the gift or inheritance is not placed in a joint account of the spouses. Once the funds are placed in a joint account or a joint asset is purchased with the funds the gift or inheritance becomes marital property. All marital property is subject to equitable distribution at the time of divorce.

You should be aware there are special rules that apply to transferred property. Attempting to classify property during a divorce can be an overwhelming and emotional process.  The attorneys at Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat PC. have more than a century of experience guiding clients through this difficult process and protecting their property rights.  Please contact us today to help you determine what is “yours, mine and ours” but more importantly, to help you preserve what is rightfully yours.

 If you need to discuss your property rights, contact our office at 717.299.7342 to schedule a consultation with one our experienced Family Law Attorneys Christopher C. Straub, Sandra Edwards Gray, Gerryanne P. Cauler, Jeffrey C. Murse, Albert J. Meier and Daniel C. Bardo.

~Gerryanne P. Cauler, Esquire

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