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Clearing up divorce process details for Pennsylvania couples

Divorce process will obviously be unique to each couple, yet certain aspects of a split may be more common than couples expect. One part of the divorce process that can get complex is property division. If a Pennsylvania couple has amassed a great deal together or has a shared business, there may be certain details of the property settlement agreement that need to be cleared up before anyone agrees to anything.

First of all, it must be clear that all assets are known. Some assets may be overseas, unknown or simply being hid by one party. Identifying what assets need to be split is the first and vital step toward ensuring fairness. Also, the second step is to be clear about the exact date of the split as this can impact debts in particular. If a spouse accrues a great deal of debt after a certain date, the other spouse may either be free and clear of that debt or partially liable, depending on the agreed upon date of the split.

Value of assets must be documented, especially if one spouse may feel certain pieces of property are worth more or less than the other spouse thinks. An appraisal may be necessary before any of those items can be split and this may include antiques, art or inherited pieces that all may be part of the marital property inventory. A shared business can make this part of the process even more complex if there is a dispute about ownership or rights to business property.

The timeline for the divorce process can be lengthy or relatively quick depending on how much must be split and if there are any unforeseen obstacles, such as the date, debts or questions about value. Going into the process with clear knowledge of these potential obstacles and preparedness can help each party move on quicker and obtain a fair settlement in the process. Pennsylvania couples may certainly need to rely on outside assistance and legal professionals who can negotiate a fair settlement before agreeing to a property division agreement on their own.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, "A Few Questions to Consider in Divorce Property Division Situations", Brad Reid, June 29, 2015

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