When a person is facing the possibility of divorce, one of their first concerns is how much property they will be able to retain from the marriage. The division of assets, money, and other types of property represents one of the most contentious moments during a divorce. If you’re facing the possibility of separation from your spouse, it’s crucial to understand how the state of Massachusetts divides property during a divorce.
Which Property Is Divided During a Massachusetts Divorce?
Some divorcees fear that they have the potential to lose everything they own during a divorce. However, this is not how the state divides property between two former spouses. The first step to dividing assets is the determination of separate property and marital property. Separate property is defined as anything bought before the marriage by either spouse. Marital property is anything obtained during the marriage. Once property receives its proper ownership title, the division of property may begin. Judges almost always give separate property to the person who bought it but occasionally award it to the person who did not.
How Much Property Is Awarded to Each Person?
Many people falsely believe that couples split property in half during a divorce. While this may happen, Massachusetts judges have a responsibility to split property fairly. For example, if a man was the primary source of income during marriage while his wife was a homemaker, a judge may decide to award the wife with a significant portion of their marital property as she has less earning capacity than her former spouse.
In other instances where one person has a significant amount of separate property, a judge may award most marital assets to the spouse who would have less property after the divorce. Instead of an even split, courts divide property in a way that ensures that both sides will have an opportunity to live comfortably after the divorce.
Factors a judge considers when dividing property includes:
- The health of each spouse
- The skills and earning capacity of each spouse
- How much separate property each person owns
- Who will take care of children from the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Misconduct from either side such as physical or emotional abuse
To determine the value of assets, courts allow spouses to assign a monetary value to their property. However, if a couple is unable to agree, the court will assign values to the property. To avoid this, couples who do not trust each other can hire the services of professional appraisers to obtain the value of the property, which will be divided during the divorce.
What to Do If You Are Facing Property Division During Your Divorce
Anyone who is divorcing from their spouse needs the help of our experienced Massachusetts divorce attorneys. Even if you trust your spouse, a divorce lawyer will look at your agreement to ensure that you are signing on the most beneficial terms possible. Remember, a divorce agreement can set up the rest of your life. So, signing one that is beneficial to you is crucial. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we are focused on helping individuals overcome the hardships which accompany divorce. We give every case the attention it deserves and treats each client with the respect they need during this difficult process.
For help with your property division, call our Massachusetts divorce attorneys today at (508) 502-7002.