The marital estate is defined as all property acquired by either party during the marriage as well as the increase in value of certain nonmarital property. Equitable distribution requires the Court to identify, evaluate, and distribute marital property pursuant to eleven (11) factors in the statute. The factors which the Court uses are as follows:

  1. The length of the marriage.
  2. Any prior marriage of either party.
  3. The age, health, station amount of income and sources of income vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and the needs of each of the parties.
  4. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the party.
  5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
  6. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement insurance or other benefits.
  7. The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as a homemaker.
  8. The value of the property set apart to each party.
  9. The standard of living the parties established during the marriage.
  10. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective.
  11. The Federal, State and local ramifications associated with each asset to be divided, distributed or assigned, which ramifications need to be immediate and certain.
      1. The expense of sale, transfer, or liquidation associated with a particular asset, which expense need to not be immediate and certain.
      2. Whether the party will be the custodian of any dependent minor children.

The court may not necessarily start with a 50-50 distribution. It should be noted that equitable distribution doesn’t mean equal. In evaluating and distributing marital property, the court may consider each marital asset independently and apply different percentages to the assets.

If you would like to discuss equitable distribution in Scranton Pennsylvania or anywhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania call the Mulligan Law Firm at 570-703-0269.