Divorcing couples in Pennsylvania and elsewhere routinely ask whether their state is a 50/50 divorce state. When this question is asked, the person wants to know whether their state is a community property state or follows an equitable distribution model.
The difference between the two primarily affects how physical property is divided in that state during divorces.
In a community property state, marital property is divided equally between the parties, regardless of other factors.
In an equitable distribution state, a court must first identify the couple’s marital assets. This includes most property and income the couple received or earned during the marriage, as well as increases in value of separate property of each spouse during the marriage.
The court is then tasked with dividing those marital assets between the couple utilizing the factors set forth in the Pennsylvania divorce code. This does not require any certain percentage-based division of assets and can include a plan to divide distinct classifications of assets differently.