Dividing assets during a divorce can often turn into a complex and contentious process. In Massachusetts, the laws surrounding this issue require a nuanced understanding of equitable division. Understanding these can provide a fair and balanced approach to managing a divorce’s financial implications.
Consider the following points surrounding the division of assets.
Equitable division in Massachusetts
Massachusetts follows the equitable division principle when dividing assets in a divorce. This means the court divides the marital property in a manner that it deems fair, but not necessarily equal. It takes into account various factors such as each spouse’s income, the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage and the needs of each spouse.
Types of property considered
In Massachusetts, all property, regardless of when or how acquired, falls under consideration for division. This includes both marital property (acquired during the marriage) and separate property (acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift). Even assets that one party brought into the marriage can end up divided between both spouses.
Role of the court
The court has broad discretion in dividing assets. It considers several factors like the parties’ ages, health, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each party. It also takes into account the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
It is vital to understand that while the law aims for a fair division, it does not always mean an equal split. As a result, the outcome of asset division in a Massachusetts divorce can vary greatly depending on each individual’s circumstances. Knowledge of these elements can assist in navigating the process and reaching a fair and equitable resolution.