Part II Divorce Basics: Marital Property

Divorce Basics -Martial Property -Boston Best Divorce Attorney

Marital property has a different definition, depending on which state you reside in. Where you live impacts how assets and debts will be divided in your divorce.

How does the Court divide marital property?

There are two types of property division: Community Property and Equitable Division. . Some states are considered “Community Property” states, and some are considered "Equitable Division" states.

There are nine Community Property States that include:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Idaho
  4. Louisiana
  5. Nevada
  6. New Mexico
  7. Texas
  8. Washington
  9. Wisconsin.

Couples living in Alaska can “opt in” for community property

Puerto Rico

The remaining 41 states are Equitable Distribution / Equitable Division States

For Massachusetts residents (an Equitable Division State):

Massachusetts is an equitable division state.  Accordingly, the equitable distribution of assets may result in a 50-50 split of marital property, or it may not. The goal in an Equitable Division State is not necessarily a 50 / 50 division. Rather, the goal is a fair and equitable distribution of marital property.

Factors that determine division of marital assets in an equitable division state, may include:

  • length of marriage
  • age of each party
  • station of the parties during marriage
  • conduct of the parties during marriage
  • health of each party
  • estates of each party
  • employability of each party
  • current needs of the minor children
  • future needs of the minor children
  • opportunities available to each party for acquisition of capital assets
  • liabilities of each party
  • vocational skills of each party
  • needs of each party
  • occupations
  • contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation or appreciation of their respective estates
  • amount and sources of income of each party
  • contribution of each party when one is a homemaker

To speak with a lawyer about divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Quincy, MA. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at

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