What is Non-Marital Property in a Pennsylvania Divorce?
Property that each spouse owned before the marriage, as well as property given to or inherited by one spouse during the marriage, usually remains that spouse’s separate property. It may, however, be considered as part of the total circumstances in determining a fair allocation of the marital property. Non-marital assets are defined in 23 Pa. C.S. §3501(a)(1)-(8).
If non-marital property is not kept separate from marital property, it may lose its separate characterization and become subject to division.
Example: If one spouse had a bank account containing $5,000 before the marriage, but during the marriage the spouses both made deposits and withdrawals from the same account, the amount in the account at the time of divorce or separation will probably be deemed marital property, to be divided between the husband and wife. If, on the other hand, the spouse with the $5,000 account deposits only other non-marital money, such as inheritances to him or her alone, in the account throughout the marriage, all the money in the account will probably remain with that spouse upon divorce.
Couples can choose to go through the separation process via alternative mediation services or via traditional means of courts with divorce lawyers.
For more information on this topic or any other topic related to issues of divorce, custody, support or family law in general, please contact one of PA divorce lawyers or call (800) 615-0115.