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High-Asset Property Division: Does "Equitable" Mean "Equal?"

In any Pennsylvania or New Jersey divorce that is prominently marked by significant assets, the affected parties will understandably have material concerns regarding the ultimate distribution of so-called "marital property."

That term connotes both assets and debt obligations that a married couple in either state acquired during their marriage (as distinguished from nonmarital assets; we will address and clarify the distinction in a future post). Marital property in both states is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce outcome.

Many readers of our legal blog might reasonably harbor some questions and concerns regarding how "equitable" will play out in a given dissolution.

What exactly does it mean from a legal perspective?

As we point out on a website page devoted to divorce-related property distribution at the family law firm of Previtera & Schimmel, it "does not mean a 50-50 split of all marital assets."

Rather, the judicial emphasis on equitable asset division is centrally on overall fairness, which is heavily fact-specific and dependent on unique factors in every divorce.

Although an equitable outcome is of course fundamentally important to any divorcing party, defining it and securing the requisite fairness can be comparatively complex in the case of a high-net-worth divorce.

We note that reality as well on our site, pointing out that asset protection often "becomes a significant part of the divorce process" where myriad high-value assets are involved.

And that is because the property mix in a high-asset divorce is often multi-sourced and not immediately apparent in a comprehensive way. Wealth can reside in multiple investment vehicles, various realty holdings, professional practices and/or other businesses, high-value art or other memorabilia collections and offshore accounts, with many additional possibilities.

Identifying, accurately valuing and helping to secure a fair divorce result for a client is the work of a proven high-asset divorce attorney.

The attorneys at Previtera & Schimmel assume that role proudly, delivering passionate, client-empathetic and results-driven advocacy to a diverse range of clients from legal offices in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, respectively.

We welcome visits to our blog, hoping that our entries prove to be routinely informative and helpful across a wide universe of family law concerns.

And we appreciate the opportunity to professionally respond to your questions and concerns regarding any matter in this important legal sphere.

Happy holidays to all our readers!

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