Worcester Division of Assets Lawyer
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Dividing assets is one of the most common areas of contention in Massachusetts divorce cases. When a couple decides to end their marriage, it’s only natural for them to be concerned about their future finances and to seek as much as they possibly can get out of their divorce agreement. Dividing assets can be a complex subject without legal guidance.
At Kovacs Law, P.C., we have successfully handled many Worchester divorce cases. We can provide the legal counsel you need to manage your divorce confidently. We understand that dividing asset determinations can significantly impact your future following a divorce and want to guide you toward a satisfactory result in your divorce case.
Is Massachusetts a Community Property State?
Whenever two people have decided to get a divorce, a major part of the process is deciding which person gets what property. A common question we get is "Is MA a 50/50 divorce state?" No. The state of Massachusetts is not a 50/50 state or a community property state. This means that, if the court must decide, all the property, assets, and liabilities are not necessarily divided equally between the two parties, as is the case in some states. Rather, the state of Massachusetts is an equitable division state.
Massachusetts Divorce Laws on Property & Assets
The state laws dictate that the courts can decide on a fair division of assets regardless of who actually owned it. A court could declare that the division is 60/40, or 70/30, etc. This decision is based on many factors, and you should contact our firm to reach a Worcester divorce attorney who can help you navigate this complex issue, protecting your every right throughout your divorce. At Kovacs Law, P.C., we are backed by over a decade of legal experience with which to help you.
How Courts Decide Asset Division
It is possible that the spouses decide between themselves how their assets will be divided. Or there may be a prenuptial agreement that spells it out, but any prenup can be challenged in court. If not, the court will have to intervene and make those decisions. The Massachusetts statute, Massachusetts General Law, c. 208, §34, lists several factors that either can be or must be considered by the court in determining how assets are divided.
These equitable distribution factors include:
- How long the marriage lasted;
- The ages of both parties;
- The behavior of each party during the marriage;
- The health status of both parties;
- Occupations of each party;
- The degree of employability of each party;
- The vocational skills of each party;
- How much income each party brought to the marriage and where it came from;
- Amount of liabilities each party brought to the marriage;
- The social status of the parties while they were married;
- If there are any minor children, what their needs are and will be after the divorce;
- What, if any, opportunities exist for both parties to acquire capital assets;
- The estates belonging to each party and what their contributions were to preserve and grow those estates;
- What were the contributions of each party when one party is a homemaker;
- The specific needs of each party; and others.
All of these factors impact a 50/50 division into a court order that is tailored to the individuals involved. If one party received an inheritance during the marriage, or other kinds of gifts, they could be considered the property of both, based upon the case. Or if one spouse owned a business, it would be considered an asset of the marriage and therefore subject to being divided. Likewise, time shares, stock options, cash, tax shelter assets, even future assets and retirement accounts would be eligible for division between the parties. If, for example, one spouse had a collection of coins, it would have to be noted on a financial statement after it was fully evaluated. Virtually anything is subject to being divided between the spouses, and not always equally.
The team at Kovacs Law, P.C.can help you navigate the property division process!
Massachusetts Divorce Property Division
Though marital property can be being divided however the court sees fit, not all assets are subject to this. Anything that falls under the umbrella of separate property cannot be divided. Separate property includes all income, property, and assets that were acquired before the marriage.
Who Gets the House in a MA Divorce?
If the home was acquired after the marriage, it is called marital property and will be used in the divorce proceedings. All property, including the house, must be shared equitably in this situation. As a result, if a couple can compromise to what is equitable in their case, one of them can gain home ownership.
In some cases, a judge would be the one to determine the best option.
In certain cases, a court will give the individual who has custody of the children from the marriage possession of the marital home. Furthermore, a Massachusetts court may consider homeownership to be a portion of child support. In such a case, one partner does not “lose” possession of the home; rather, they must wait until it is sold before receiving their share of its worth.
Court Decisions in a Litigated Divorce: Property and Asset Division
Divorce is often accompanied by negative emotions and stress, often making the divorce process even more difficult. At Kovacs Law, P.C., we believe in a very hands-on and personal approach to helping our clients pursue the best possible outcome of a divorce, fighting for the most equitable and fair division of assets as well as child support. We are by your side throughout the entire process, with the goal of getting you beyond this phase and prepared to transition into a new, brighter future.