Division of Assets and Debts Lawyer Mansfield, MA
When a couple divorces, the division of marital property may be a significant issue to resolve. It is understandable that people become emotionally tied to their possessions. For some, the thought of having to give away something precious can be overwhelming. Whether it is real estate, motor vehicles, or assets of personality, the couple can be deeply opinionated about what the other deserves. Sometimes, couples can come together to negotiate terms, coming to an amicable conclusion. When that is not possible, they can easily find themselves in a court case, fighting over how the marital estate should be split. If you are facing a contested divorce based on the unresolved issues of property distribution, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C.
Marital and separate property
For a court to divide property, it must establish the difference between marital and separate property. This topic is complicated. Simply put, marital property is an asset brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. Separate property is also a very complicated topic. Separate property is an asset bought before the marriage and not agreed to be brought into the marriage. This is not so simple. When couples commingle assets or an asset gains value during the marriage because of the cooperation and financial resources of the marriage, separate property may not stay completely separate. In addition, there are gifts and other assets that are acquired during the marriage that might stay separate, namely inheritance. How an inheritance is handled is very fact-based and it is important to discuss this matter with an attorney.
The equitable distribution of the marital estate
Like many other states, Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state. Equitable is a term that means fair and just. The division of assets will be distributed in a fair and just manner, according to the discretion of the court. Equitable does not always mean an even split. A court can divide assets any way they deem fair and just to both parties. With that in mind, there are many factors that a court will consider related to the marriage, including, but not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- Health and age of the parties
- The standard of living
- The earning capacity and income of the couple
- The value of marital assets
When allocating assets, there are factors that can impact the distribution, including the contribution of each party, the individual financial situation, and tax consequences.
Contact an experienced Mansfield Attorney
If you are getting divorced and need quality legal support, our firm is here to help. When our clients face such a significant marital issue, we are ready to fight for their future. To schedule an appointment with a law firm with over 30 years of experience, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C.