Boston and Quincy Division of Assets & Debt Lawyers
In accordance with Massachusetts law, everything acquired during the marriage, including marital property, is a marital asset subject to property division during divorce. Furthermore, additional assets (either wholly or partially) brought into the marriage may be subject to division as well. Massachusetts, unlike traditional community property states, is an equitable division state. That means that there is a presumption of an equal (50-50) division of all marital assets, but the courts also have the authority to order an unequal division (for example, 55 - 45 or 60-40, etc.). This could be decided after the court has reviewed the factors enumerated in Massachusetts statute, known as Massachusetts General Law, ch. 208 section 34.
Factors that determine division of marital assets include:
- length of marriage
- conduct of the parties during marriage
- age of each party
- health of each party
- station of the parties during marriage
- amount and sources of income of each party
- vocational skills of each party
- employability of each party
- estates of each party
- liabilities of each party
- needs of each party
- current needs of the minor children
- future needs of the minor children
- opportunities available to each party for the acquisition of capital assets
- contributions of each party to the acquisition, preservation or appreciation of their respective estates
- contribution of each party when one is a homemaker
If a spouse is an owner of a business property or is self-employed, that portion of the business and property attributable to the spouse is considered a marital asset subject to division. All retirement accounts acquired or appreciated during the marriage are assets subject to division. The identification of cash assets, tax sheltered assets, future assets, such as stock options, time share property and collections (for example, Hummels, baseball cards, guns, coins) must be fully evaluated and fully disclosed on a financial statement. Oftentimes the marital residence, house and property, is the most valuable marital asset. Whether this house and property are transferred to a spouse or sold is a matter of strategy between an attorney and client.
To learn more about the divorce representation Mavrides Law firm offers, schedule your initial consultation online or by calling toll free 617-723-9900.