Property Settlement FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about property settlement:

Q: How does the court determine the division of property in a divorce?

A: The court will usually distribute your property in accordance with a signed marital settlement agreement. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on property division, the Court of Common Pleas will identify marital assets, assign monetary value to your assets and debts and then distribute them in an equitable fashion. The court considers the following factors for the distribution:

  • How long you were married
  • Each spouse's assets and liabilities
  • The desirability of awarding a family home or the right to live in the house for reasonable periods of time to the spouse who has custody of any children of the marriage
  • Liquidity of the property that will be distributed
  • Economic desirability of retaining an asset interest or intact property
  • Tax consequences
  • Applicable sales costs
  • Division or disbursement of any property in accordance with a separation agreement entered into voluntarily
  • Other factors the court finds relevant

Q: What is a property settlement agreement (aka marital settlement agreement)?

A: When you and your spouse decide to separate, it's a good idea to draw up a property settlement agreement. This contract details your rights and divides up your property. It may also address spousal support and alimony.

Q: Why do I need a property settlement agreement?

A: Though not every divorcing couple needs one, this agreement is vital if you have joint debts, marital property and/or children. This will establish who keeps what, what each of you is responsible for paying and how time with your children will be established while your divorce is pending. This will also establish when you separated and facilitate your divorce proceedings.

Q: Should I file my agreement with the court?

A: It is not necessary to file the agreement for it to be effective. However, if you wish for the terms to be incorporated into your final divorce orders, you will eventually need to file the agreement with the court.

Schedule a consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer at Laubacher & Co. before you negotiate your property settlement agreement to ensure compliance with the law and protection of your rights. Call 440-462-1882, or contact us online today.