Protecting Individuals, Families And Children Every Step Of The Way

For More Than 20 Years
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Property Division
  4.  » High-asset divorce property division: the need for legal counsel

High-asset divorce property division: the need for legal counsel

A Massachusetts family law appeals case decided last year has garnered significant press in the wake of the appellate court’s ruling, and for a materially notable reason. We revisit the case in today’s blog post, given its potential utility for our clients and other state residents who are centrally concerned with an equitable division of marital assets during divorce.

There is of course a clear bifurcation going into the divorce process between so-called “separate” and “marital” property. The bottom line is that the former signifies assets held solely by or for the interest of only one married partner, with no intent for those assets to be in play when a court considers a marriage-ending property division. Marital property, conversely, encompasses all assets that are subject to division.

The case above involved an irrevocable trust established by a father for the stated benefit of his married son and other immediate family members. The trust contained a spendthrift provision that barred its assets from creditors. The son’s wife was intended to be excluded from any benefits that flowed from the trust.

During the couple’s marriage, trustees made multiple and quite sizable payments to the son, which the appeals court found were relied upon by both the beneficiary and his wife as married partners. In fact, the court stated its view that the trust was “woven into the fabric of the marriage.”

The beneficiary argued against the trust being construed as marital property, given that the trustees in their discretion had stopped making distributions and because the spendthrift clause barred distributions deemed as being for the benefit of parties other than him.

Those arguments did not resonate with the court, given the couple’s joint reliance on trust proceeds during their marriage. The court ruled the trust to be marital property and divisible in the couple’s divorce process.

Clearly, the case demonstrates how easily a family law matter regarding assets can turn complex and weighty.

Indeed, property division matters in a high-asset divorce are often complicated. A Massachusetts resident with questions or concerns about asset division in a divorce might reasonably want to consult with a proven family law attorney with demonstrated experience promoting the rights and interests of divorce clients in complex property division matters.

Archives

5 Star Reviews

A Superb Lawyer!

Lisa guided me through the divorce process and helped me obtain my desired outcome. Throughout the entire process, she helped make the process as painless as possible. Lisa is truly a super lawyer who will be an asset to anyone that utilizes her knowledge, experience, dedication and abilities!

– Eric E.

Successfully Settled My Case With Just One Court Appearance

My ex husband is an attorney and I knew I needed a top notch attorney on my side in order to secure a favorable outcome. In less than a month, from start to finish, Attorney Ruggieri successfully settled my case with just one court appearance.

– Carol K.

All Of The Online Reviews Of Attorney Lisa Ruggieri Are True!

All of the online reviews of Attorney Lisa Ruggieri are true! If you need top-notch legal advice to land you on your feet post-divorce, I would highly recommend the Law Offices of Lisa Ruggieri. Lisa is very knowledgeable and draws a strong line around defending and protecting her clients.

– Eugenia Z.

She Was Aggressive And Never Backed Down

I found Lisa through reviews and was not disappointed. Lisa and her staff were great! They were very supportive and explained everything. She was aggressive and never backed down, even when I wanted to settle. She always looked out for my best interest, even when I didn’t want to. I can’t recall a single debate she lost during the entire case. If I were ever in a similar situation again (which will not be anytime in the foreseeable future!), I would call Lisa.

– Erik T.