When couples go through a divorce, there can be arguments over various issues. During a marriage, couples share many things. This includes their possessions, such as a house, vehicles or any other valuables. Once a divorce is official, it is time for these possessions to be split up between the two former spouses. During the time that these possessions were shared, people can gain an attachment to them. If you have fond memories in a particular house, you may not be willing to give it up. If you have a car that is special to you, it can be hard to lose possession of it as well. This can force couples to seek legal action against one another in order to obtain ownership of specific items after a divorce. When these situations become a possibility, contact us for legal support. We may be able to help you retain the possessions that have become important to you.
How does the division happen?
In order for a court to divide the properties of two former spouses, they must establish the difference between marital property and separate property. This will help to decipher what was gained throughout the marriage and what was already previously owned by each individual. Marital property is an asset brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage. For example, a couple may begin their marriage by buying a house together. This can be considered marital property since it was intended to be for the benefit of both individuals and was purchased based upon the marriage.
Separate property includes assets that were bought before the marriage and were not agreed upon to be brought into the marriage. However, this can become a complicated matter. When couples mix their assets during a marriage or if an asset gains value during that period of time, separate property may not stay entirely separate. Assets can gain value due to the cooperation and financial resources of the marriage. Inheritance is an asset that is handled in a fact-based manner by the courts. If inheritance is acquired during the marriage but is a separate entity, then it may be considered as separate property.
The state of Massachusetts practices equitable distribution. This means that the assets of a divorced couple should be split in a fair and just manner under the court’s discretion. However, this does not necessarily mean that the assets will be split in an even manner. The court will decide what they believe to be fair.
When deciding how to split assets, the court will consider many factors. These factors can include the duration of the marriage, the standard of living, the value of the marital assets, the health and age of both parties and the earning capacity and income of the couple. The allocation of assets can be impacted by the contribution of each party, tax consequences and an individual’s financial situation.
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.