Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

How is property division determined in Massachusetts?

Property division can be a significant concern for divorcing couples which is why it can be helpful to understand how it is determined in Massachusetts. Divorcing couples might have many questions concerning property division so some answers regarding how to expect property will be divided can be helpful.

Property division in Massachusetts when couples divorce is referred to as equitable property division. Unlike some states that divide property in half upon divorce according to community property rules, Massachusetts divides property upon divorce according to equitable property rules which means that property will be divided fairly as possible but does not necessarily mean property will be divided in half.

Equitable property division refers to how marital property, or assets and property the couple has acquired during marriage, will be divided. Separate property, which is considered property the spouse had prior to marriage or acquired during the marriage through gift or inheritance, is not subject to division. Divorcing couples can determine property division between themselves but if they are unable to do so, the divorce court can help them with property division.

When making a property division determination, the court may consider several factors including the age and health of each spouse; the employment or employability of each spouse; the sources of income for the spouses; the needs and obligations of the spouses; the length of the marriage; and any spousal misconduct. At times, assets will also need to be valuated during the property division process which is why the family law court provides so many resources to help guide divorcing couples through the property division process in Massachusetts.

Source: Statelaws.findlaw.com, "Massachusetts Marital Property Laws," Accessed March 22, 2018

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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