Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

The different types of property subject to division

Property division can be complex during the divorce process so it is helpful to know what different types of property will be involved and what the legal categories of property are. Property division is a necessary process divorcing couples must go through during divorce and legal resources are available through the family law process to help.

Marital property is the category of property that is subject to division during the divorce process. There is a long list of property that will need to be divided including the family home; home furnishings; cars; furniture; clothing; bank accounts; and cash; pension plans; 401(k) plans; stocks; life insurance policies with cash value; and any interest the couple may have in a family business. Valuation of property may be required in some instances.

In Massachusetts, marital property will be divided according to equitable property division rules. This means the property will be fairly divided, however, only marital property is subject to division. Marital property is property earned or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is the other category of property that is not generally subject to division. Separate property includes property one of the spouses entered the marriage with, inheritances and personal injury awards.

Property division requires the divorcing couple to walk through the division of many different types of property and can be an emotional process in many ways. As a result, it benefits divorcing couples to be familiar with property division rules and to know what to expect from them in their divorce.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator


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