When couples are considering divorce, their number one and number two concerns are likely their children and property division concerns. Property division concerns likely extend to what will happen to a marital home during the property division process.

Fortunately, the family law system provides a process to help guide property division that allows the divorcing couple to know what to expect. In general, when property is divided during divorce in Massachusetts, it is divided in a manner that the court considers fair rather than just splitting the property in half. This may mean that an unequal distribution of property is fair, or equitable, but any property division agreement is based on a consideration of several factors and the circumstances of the spouses.

There are different categories of property including marital property, separate property and property that may have been comingled. It is important to know how to sort out all the different types of property and keep in mind that typically only marital property is divided. Using a family home as an example, if one parent retains primary custody of the children and parenting responsibilities, they may receive the home to live in with the children. If the couple does not have children, and separate property was used to purchase the home, the purchasing spouse may receive the house. If the home was purchased with funds earned during the marriage, the division process may grow complicated.

Property division legal resources are designed to be flexible and to help couples arrive at a property division settlement agreement that is fair for them. Understanding how the process works, can help guide couples to a property division settlement agreement they can both live with.