How does property division and alimony work if my wife makes $25,000 more per year than I do?
First, in Pennsylvania, the lower wage earning spouse has the ability to raise a claim for support once a divorce is pending or once the parties live separate and apart.
From this, they can collect support while separated and during the pendency of a divorce.
Pursuant to a divorce, the lower wage-earning spouse should seek alimony (which refers to post-divorce support here), though entitlement to this claim may be refuted if there is a valid defense to the claim or if there is enough property to divide to alleviate the “need” for alimony.
You should investigate the pursuit of this claim immediately.
With regard to property division, Pennsylvania equitably divides marital property, which does not always mean equally. Many times, marital property division is skewed in the favor of the lower-wage-earning spouse or dependent spouse.
Several factors go into the court’s determination of how to divide the property in terms of who gets what percentage of the marital estate: length of marriage, ages of parties, access to assets, abilities to earn income and acquire future assets, minor children and custody, income histories of the parties, etc.
It is more complex than just saying if you make less, you will get more than 50 percent of the property, but the disparity in income works in your favor if you make less.
Marital property in Pennsylvania, is considered anything acquired from date of marriage through the date of separation, regardless of title.
This includes the growth in value of any separate property, which is considered something a spouse owned prior to the marriage or received via gift / inheritance, so long as it is not comingled with marital property.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, 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.”