There are many factors to negotiate when going through the divorce process. One of the most challenging may be that of property division. Whether you have just recently filed for divorce or are considering initiating the process, you may want to think about how the property and assets accumulated during the marriage will be divided in the divorce settlement. Massachusetts is an equitable division of property state, meaning the estate will be divided according to what the judge deems fair and just.
When deciding who is entitled to what in the final settlement, the judge presiding over the case may look at several factors, including the following:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Age, health and occupation of each spouse
- Vocational skills and ability to get a job
- The root cause for the divorce
- Whether alimony is involved
- Health insurance availability
The judge may also look at how each party contributed to the accumulation of the property during the marriage, as well as whether one spouse took care of the home and children, if any are involved, during the marriage. Not all property is marital and eligible for division during a divorce. Separate property may stay in the possession of the original owner.
You and your spouse may also consider going through mediation rather than taking your case to court. During mediation, you are able to negotiate the terms of property division and other marital issues without the assistance of a judge. This allows you to create a divorce settlement that is unique to your personal situation.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.