Divorce and Property Division: Are “Professional Degrees” Marital Property?

When you are going through the divorce process in Pennsylvania, any marital property you own with your spouse is potentially property that could be shared with your spouse through the process of “equitable distribution.” The key question is whether a piece of property counts as marital property in a given situation.

Let’s take a situation where one spouse has acquired a degree that has formed the basis for that spouse’s occupation. The example that often comes to mind is an M.D. degree. In fact, some of the most important case law on this issue revolves around whether a medical doctor’s degree is “property” that is subject to be shared with his or her spouse during divorce.

The short answer is “maybe.” There are various factors that come into play in determining whether a professional degree is marital property. Here are some factors relevant to the analysis.