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Preparing for property division may require professional advice

When someone in Pennsylvania is facing divorce, well-meaning friends may offer advice. They may have opinions about personal finances or property division. Much of that advice may stem from their own emotional experiences and have little to do with what the divorcing person is going through. Sometimes it may be necessary for the person to step back from friends and seek professional advice.

After 37 years of marriage, one woman was shocked when her husband filed for divorce. She realized that, aside from her job, she had nothing to live on except the promise of $50,000 from her husband's retirement account. However, her husband offered to let her have the family home, which was paid off. Her friends advised her to keep the house since she would have no mortgage payment. This confused the woman because she knew the house was expensive to maintain and in bad repair.

If this woman expects to retire someday, she may be better off selling the house and finding a smaller place. Additionally, she may be wise to examine her credit report for a thorough understanding of her debts as well as her assets. These debts will also be divided at the divorce settlement, and she will have to take into account her obligations when creating a new budget. Having this information will enable her to make decisions about her future that will not force her to work past retirement age.

Starting over after a divorce may be overwhelming, especially if a person has never dealt with the family finances or money management. In such a case, it may be important to have sound advice during property division so that a person is certain his or her rights are protected. Many people in Pennsylvania bring their questions to an attorney who can make sure they are informed and prepared when divorce proceedings begin.

Source:, "Divorce decision: Keep the house or sell it?", Peter Dunn, Aug. 6, 2016

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