Property division can be a top concern for divorcing couples during the divorce process. For that reason, it is important for divorcing couples to understand the property division process and to get answers to their questions such as which spouse will receive the family home.

In general, there are three categories of property the family law court will consider when making an equitable division of property in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, property division is conducted according to equitable property division rules which requires property to be divided equitably but not necessarily in half. There are three categories of property that the court will consider when dividing the couple’s property including marital property, separate property and any property that it needs to take a look at because it has been commingled.

Typically, the only property that is subject to property division is marital property which is considered assets and income acquired during the marriage. Separate property is property the spouses entered the marriage with or personal injury awards, gifts or inheritances. Commingled property can become a little more challenging. All the couple’s property is divided including cars, household furnishings, retirement assets and real estate, among other types of property. A family home is a good example of how the court will attempt a fair division of property. If one spouse will have custody of the children, they may keep the home but may also be required to give up other assets so that the other spouse receives a fair share of the marital estate.

Because how assets, including a family home, are divided can vary by state, it is important to be familiar with the complexities of property division rules in your state. Knowing how the property division process can help couples reach a property division settlement that is less messy and allows them to focus on building their futures following the divorce.