Division of Marital Property During Divorce in Massachusetts
Upon the decision to pursue a divorce, the division of marital property a matter that all couples must face. Couples can choose to divide property on their own, or through an attorney or mediated session(s). For those couples that can’t agree upon property divisions, the division will be handled in court under the direction of a judge. For help individing marital assets during a divorce, attorney Michael F. Mimno can provide you with the legal advice you need.
Massachusetts Law for Equitable Distribution
Massachusetts adheres to what’s known as equitable distribution law in the event of a divorce. While some other states are community property states, meaning that property is divided equally between spouses in the event of a divorce, equitable distribution law specifies that property be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. In this sense, property may be divided based on equal shares – such as half of the value of the property going to one spouse and the other half going to the other – or based on other percentages, such as a 40/60 division. The way that property will be divided is up to the discretion of the judge overseeing the case, and will be based on a number of factors.
How to Determine Equitable Distribution In Massachusetts
If a couple cannot come to a division of property agreement on their own, a judge will distribute property equitably by considering the following factors:
- Length of the marriage
- Age of the parties getting divorced
- Health of the parties
- Children involved
- Contributions of the parties (both financially and non-financially)
- Opportunities for acquisition of future assets, including education level and vocational skills
- Occupations of the parties
- Size of the Marital Estates
Additionally, it is important to note that in Massachusetts, even property that was acquired before the marriage is considered part of the marital estate and subject to division. In a short term marriage it is more likely that the spouse when owned an asset prior to the mortgage will retain ownership upon divorce.
If a prenuptial agreement was signed prior to marriage, then the question of property division in the event of divorce is already dissolved – the premarital contract will outline who is entitled to what. Premarital contracts are generally enforced by the courts must be adhered to in the event of a divorce.
Speak with a Divorce Attorney Today
If you and your spouse are getting divorced in Massachusetts, it’s important that you seek the knowledge and help of an experienced divorce attorney. At the Law Offices of Attorney Michael F. Mimno, our legal team understands how emotional going through a divorce can be, and how frustrating fairly dividing assets is. To ensure that you get a fair amount of property and assets, we’ll work hard as your legal advocates. Call us today for a free consultation at 978-470-4567.