Division Of Property
Massachusetts is an “equitable division state.” Equitable division means that any asset a party to a divorce owns, regardless of how it was acquired or whose name it is in, is considered a marital asset that may be subject to division by the court. In dividing marital assets, the court is to take into account the factors set forth by statute. Those factors include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- How the spouses behaved during the marriage
- All personal factors like age and health, as well as everything relevant to income, employability and occupation
- Liabilities and needs of both parties
- If there are minor children, the present and future needs of the dependent children
The court typically considers each party’s contribution during the acquisition, the overall value of their respective estates, and how each spouse contributed to the marriage and household.
The court has a great deal of discretion in dividing assets and can grant one party a larger percentage of the assets based upon the statutory factors. Although conduct is a factor to be taken into account, it typically plays a very minor role in the court’s determination. It is fair to say that for most parties the court will look to divide the assets on a 50/50 basis.