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PA 'equitable distribution' scenerio. Party 1 owns property prior to marriage. Party 2 is placed on mort & deed. Party 2 share?

Lancaster, PA |

Party 1 buys a house for 155K one year prior to marriage in 1997. Party 1 and Party 2 marry in 1998. Party 2 is place on deed and mortgage in 1998. In 1998, now Party 1 and Party (both on deed) get our appraisal. Appraised at 155K. House is now appraised at 260K. Given 50/50 split, is Party 2's share 52.5K?

Party's separated in 2008. If no increased in value from 2008 until present, is Party 2's share still 52.5K given 50/50 split scenerio?

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Attorney answers 3


Your question totally changes after you put them on the deed. You probably now gave them in an interest as Joint Tenants. It sounds likely that she is entitled to have the equity or worth of the home. Call a local attorney for a consultation to make sure you are protecting yourself.

Brian Arnold


If I understand your question, the fact that you placed her on the deed only matters a little. If you had not placed her on the deed then she would only be entitled to the increase in value since the date of marriage. However, since you married only a year after you purchased the property it probably had not increased in value much so the basis would be around the purchase price. Nonetheless, once you put her name on the deed she became entiled to whatever equity is in the house. So if it is now worth 260, she would be entitled to 1/2 of 105K.


Property isn't necessarily divided on a 50/50 basis. The Court takes a number of different factors into consideration when determining how to divide marital assets. It sounds like the equity in the home is marital property, so I would advise that you retain a lawyer before doing anything else, to ensure your rights are protected.

Many attorneys, including myself, offer free consultations. I would suggest that you schedule a consult so more facts can be obtained and your options reviewed.

Justin C. Gearty Jr.

This post is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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