It seems fair that a person should be entitled to keep that which they earn. That is to say, a Massachusetts resident may believe that they should get to take from their marriage the financial contributions that they make to it during the years they are bound to their spouse. This is not the case in many divorces, as courts must balance the equities of the partners and assess how each contributed to the success of the relationship over the course of its lifetime.

For example, when a spouse does not work outside of the home, this doesn’t mean that the spouse did not work at all. In fact, that person may have spent much of their potential wage-earning life raising their children, maintaining the family home, managing the bills and accounts of the family and performing other necessary and important tasks that ensured the successful operation of the marriage.

Would it be fair for such a person to emerge from their marriage with no money or assets of their own simply because they did not bring home an income? During a divorce, a party may demonstrate that because of their marital contributions their spouse was able to excel in their career, raise their financial earnings and become a more efficient worker. The functioning of a marriage depends on more than just earning money and, as such, the division of marital assets and property must be done so with equity in mind.

Susan Rossi Cook is a Massachusetts attorney who believes in fighting for her clients’ rights to fair legal outcomes in divorce. Whether those outcomes are achieved through mediation or litigation, her firm is prepared to help individuals work through the financial and legal aspects of bringing their marriages to an end.