What is Division of Assets?
In every divorce, assets and debts must be divided according to the laws of Massachusetts.
Division of Property
SPOUSES CAN AGREE HOW TO DIVIDE THEIR PROPERTY
You can try and enter into an agreement directly with your spouse about the division of property but if you and your spouse are able to reach a mutual agreement, you can memorialize that in a written document, called a “Marriage Settlement Agreement” otherwise known as property settlement agreement which is a written contract dividing your property and determining your rights. You then submit the MSA to the Judge so it can be incorporated into your final divorce decree. If you and your spouse cannot agree, you will have to take it to Court where ultimately the Judge will decide how to divide your property using the principles of “equitable distribution.”
MASSACHUSETTS COURTS DIVIDE PROPERTY EQUITABLY – NOT NECESSARILY EQUALLY
In Massachusetts, courts may divide “marital” property equitably between the spouses upon divorce. Marital property includes any income, assets, and property acquired by either spouse during their marriage. Separate property stays with the spouse that acquired it, and is not divisible by a court. Courts will divide marital property equitably.
Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court requires spouses to split all marital property equitably, but not necessarily equally. The specifics of your case could mean that you are entitled to a greater share of the marital assets, or that your spouse is responsible for more of the marital debts, rather than an even split. Problems can also arise over how to split major marital assets, such as the family home, real estate, and other items of significant value.
Alimony in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts there are no set guidelines for alimony . Whether to award alimony, how much to award, and for how long is all left to the discretion of the court after an analysis of the length of the marriage and each spouse’s income, skills, and employment opportunities.
Family law can be a very complicated area of the law, especially with financial aspects of a divorce. At Law Office of Rachel Matos we are here to help!