Division of Property Attorney
When it comes to division of property in a divorce, Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the law requires that all of the marital property be divided in a fair and equitable fashion.
Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, although the law may presume an equal division as a starting point. Generally speaking, property brought into a short-term marriage by either party is that party’s separate, non-marital property. Also, property received during the marriage by one party as a gift or inheritance may be considered non-marital property. All property acquired during the marriage with marital funds or through marital effort will likely be deemed to be marital property, regardless of how it is titled. Property owned by one party prior to the marriage but which has increased in value may be viewed in part or in whole as a marital asset. Inherited property is a major area of dispute in determining what is and is not marital property.
What is marital property and what is non-marital property is often the subject of dispute in a divorce and often requires detailed and complicated tracing efforts. Pensions, retirement plans and savings plans which one or both parties contributed to during the marriage can be divided at the time of divorce.
Many property issues revolve around the value of the property itself, particularly if there is a professional practice or business involved. Financial professionals may be required to assist in the valuation process and to testify as an exert witness at trial.
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If you have questions about equitable division of property in your divorce, contact our law firm to schedule a confidential consultation and learn more about your options and legal rights.