Category: Equitable Distribution

Complex Financial Issues in Divorce

An Explanation of Equitable Distribution of Property

April 16, 2018 | Blog, Complex Financial Issues, Divorce, Equitable Distribution

Icon for author Jennifer Zofcin Jennifer Zofcin

In Pennsylvania, family courts divide marital property using a system called equitable distribution. The goal of equitable distribution is to effectuate economic justice between the parties. Therefore, the division is not always done in equal shares, as is commonly seen in community property states. A Pittsburgh divorce lawyer can walk you through the steps of equitable distribution and explain the intricacies if you are considering divorce and need to review […]

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Avoid the Divorce Pitfall of Double Dipping

Many of us have heard of the party foul called double dipping — using the same chip or cracker for multiple scoops into the serving dish or crockpot of delicious dip. In divorce litigation, double dip has a much more complicated meaning. In divorce terminology, a double dip occurs when the same income or cash flow is used twice — once as an asset to fashion an equitable distribution of […]

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Divorced Spouses Must Update Beneficiary Designations

Divorced spouses who do not update their beneficiary designations are taking an unnecessary risk, as illustrated by a case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In Sveen v. Melin, No. 16-1432 (cert. granted December 8, 2017), the Met Life insurance company was “caught in the middle” when its policyholder Mark Sveen died in 2011.  He had purchased his life insurance policy and designated his then-wife, Kaye Melin, as his […]

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Lack of Expert, Evidence Foils Business Valuation in Divorce

Personal Goodwill versus Enterprise Goodwill

When a business is an asset in a Pennsylvania divorce, the court needs detailed information — and often a business valuation in divorce — to perform equitable distribution. The information must be presented in court in an effective way.  Not having a business valuation or detailed information can lead to unexpected results.  Recently, in Sweeney v. Sweeney, No. 2164 EDA 2015 (August 30, 2016) (non-precedential), the Superior Court confronted a divorce case in which the […]

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