Double Dipping in Divorce: How Do I Avoid?

Many of us have heard of the party foul called double dipping —using the same chip or cracker for multiple scoops into a delicious dip. In divorce litigation, double dip has a much more complicated meaning. 

In its simplest definition, a double dip occurs when the same income or cash flow is used twice – once as an asset to fashion an equitable distribution of marital property and again in the calculation of spousal support. Most commonly, double dip issues arise with business interests and retirement assets. They occur in cases involving investment accounts and oil, gas and mineral rights.  

Each party to a divorce must evaluate whether he or she will receive the greatest economic benefit if the funds are classified as marital property or as income. Despite the fact this issue is common in complex divorce cases, there is actually very little precedent in Pennsylvania relating to the double dip.

Pennsylvania’s appellate courts have not rendered a definitive test regarding the multiple scenarios of double dip, though the principles elucidated in several cases over the years continue to provide guidance. In all complex divorce cases, finding an experienced family law attorney who can negotiate and litigate on your behalf as well as advise you appropriately regarding your financial assets is paramount to protecting your assets and providing for your future post divorce. To ensure you are appropriately handling the distribution of assets and avoiding the double dip hazard, speak to the experienced legal team at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC.

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