Several prior posts here have discussed the difference between separate property and marital property when it comes to a divorce. While the parties to a divorce generally walk away from their marriages with their separate property, they may have to await a judicial decision to know what portion of their marital property will be theirs. This post will briefly touch on some of the factors that courts may look at to decide how to divide marital property, but readers are asked to discuss their case-specific concerns with their legal representatives.
First, a court may examine the ages of the parties and the length of the marriage when dividing marital property. Second, it may look into how much money the partners make and what types of job prospects they have that may allow them to support themselves. These factors together may demonstrate to a court that a less financially stable person should receive the appropriate amount of marital property to accommodate their diminished financial position relative to that of the former spouse.
Third, Massachusetts courts can look at claims of misconduct committed by one of the parties against the other. Although couples do not have to allege fault to divorce in Massachusetts, a court can give some consideration to claims of transgressions when separating the property that a former couple shares.
Dividing marital property during a divorce can be a lengthy and cumbersome process. It is useful to many individuals to let divorce and family law attorneys support them as they bring their marriages to their ends and negotiate with their soon-to-be ex-spouses over their financial and familial concerns.