Once upon a time, marriage was a business transaction. Rulers married off their sons or daughters to expand their empires or promote peace. Nomads bartered their camels for a bride, and parents offered dowries to the family that would take their daughter. Then love and individual choice came into it, and business became a dirty word.
Most would agree this is a positive change. The problem is, love does not always last. When love breaks down, money begins to matter. Couples who married for love realize their union had financial consequences such as sacrificing their career or the chance to buy their own home.
Many couples shun prenuptial or postnuptial agreements as unromantic. Yet, there is nothing romantic about fighting over property in divorce. Clarifying how to treat specific assets if the marriage ends avoids much of the conflict that property division can bring.
Pennsylvania divorce law uses the principle of equitable distribution
Pennsylvania law requires you to divide your marital property equitably. One factor couples often struggle with is determining each person’s contribution to the marriage. The spouse who earned most of the money may be reluctant to part with it. The spouse who earned less of the money may feel they contributed in other ways. They may view the time they dedicated to raising the kids, cooking dinner every night and so on as essential in allowing their spouse to spend more time at work.
If you view your marriage as a business partnership that has reached its end, it can help you make more rational decisions when dividing assets. Concentrating on the figures rather than the feelings helps both sides emerge better prepared for a new future.