Determining what a spouse may get in a divorce settlement in Pennsylvania is frequently the most contentious portion of a split. Whether the discussions involve alimony payments or division of marital property, these talks can become heated. Complicating matters is that Pennsylvania follows the principle of equitable distribution, in which the court decides on an agreement it believes is fair.
Fair isn’t necessarily equal
The financial implications of divorce are its most complicated aspect. Dividing assets and liabilities in a divorce is highly confusing, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. You’ll encounter various words that can have you reeling, wondering what they mean.
Mediation is often the key
Even if you don’t believe your spouse should get certain assets, the courts may decide otherwise, so it’s in your best interests to negotiate a decision on whether your divorce is contested and settled in court or uncontested and decided through mediation. Mediation allows couples to agree on issues that are important to both sides. Without mediation, you may be at the mercy of a family law judge who dictates a settlement that leaves you and your spouse unhappy with the outcome.
Determining what is important to you
Deciding what is essential in your divorce settlement is one of the most crucial steps in divorce negotiations. Making a list of what you would prefer to have as part of your settlement is the first step. Once you list your important assets, you can begin negotiations. However, remember that you may not get everything you want in a negotiated divorce settlement. There will be give and take on both sides.
Working with professionals like a mediator and a certified divorce financial analyst can help you understand your options and provide advice on how to negotiate the fairest possible settlement. These individuals do not have an emotional stake in your negotiations, so they can help you reach an equitable settlement that will satisfy you, your spouse and the courts.