Here is a very common scenario – due to financial concerns, such as one spouse having bad credit or no credit the marital home is purchased in the name of only one party. Many people facing divorce fear that this means that the home belongs to the person whose name is on the Deed. Not true. In Pennsylvania, marital property is property acquired by either spouse from the date of marriage until the date of separation, regardless of how it is titled. Therefore, if the marital home was purchased after the date of marriage, but prior to the date of separation, it is a marital asset.
What if the marital home was purchased shortly prior to the date of marriage? Then it becomes somewhat more complicated following the divorce or separation However, there are certain instances in which the court will allow a pre-marital asset to be divided in equitable distribution. The first is when an asset is purchased in contemplation of marriage. Basically, if a spouse purchases a home immediately before the marriage with the idea that the home will be used as the marital residence, then a claim can be made that the home is marital property making it subject to equitable distribution in the divorce. Even if the court determines that the home was not purchased in contemplation of marriage and is excluded from marital property, the other spouse is still entitled to a portion of the appreciation of the home that occurred during the marriage. This will be determined by examining the value of the home and the amount of the mortgage as the date of separation. The difference between these amounts is the appreciation that can be included as marital property.
Have more questions about marital assets and divorce or separation in PA? Contact us with the form on the right. We will help you earn fair marital assets distribution.