I have lived in the marital residence for the past several years after my divorce, and have recently received an offer.
I have made a number of improvements to the home and increased it’s value considerably; however, the marital agreement (that only I signed) states my ex will get half the equity at time of sale.
Is it possible to get more than 50 percent since I put in the time and money?
In Pennsylvania, there is no default 50-50 division of marital assets and debts in a divorce. Therefore, it is in the court’s discretion as to the percentages assigned to each marital asset and marital debt.
Oftentimes, division of the marital estate is skewed in the dependent spouse’s favor.
If a party has contributed financially to improve the marital residence, he or she may argue that they should receive credit for that contribution and receive a greater portion of the net proceeds.
If parties are unable to agree to the division of net proceeds by the time of closing, then the funds should be placed in escrow until such time as the parties have reached an agreement or a court order is in place determining division of the proceeds.
An agreement signed by only one party is not a binding agreement.
You should consult with an attorney barred in your state to discuss the facts of your case and your jurisdiction’s approach to equitable distribution matters.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”