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How does Pennsylvania divide your property?

Pennsylvania uses the equitable distribution standard when splitting assets between spouses in a divorce. That means that judges try to find a fair way to split up marital assets between spouses. They look at the total value of the marital estate and the circumstances of both the marriage and the individual spouses to determine what is fair and appropriate.

When it comes to your home, the primary consideration that will determine whether the courts divide or not is whether your home is separate property owned solely by you or marital property shared by you and your spouse.

Typically, houses are major investments that both spouses contribute toward. However, if you owned your house outright prior to marriage or it was part of an inheritance, you may have grounds to claim it as separate property. The same is true if you and your ex agreed that you would retain the house as separate property in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

However, even if you think your house may be separate property, your spouse could still potentially have a claim to some of its value. If they help to pay the mortgage or other expenses involved in the upkeep of the house or if they performed substantial physical labor that contributed toward its maintenance or improvement, your spouse could potentially have a claim to some of the value of the property.