Marital property comprises all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage. It includes real estate, stocks, bank accounts and even retirement accounts. When you divorce, you are entitled to a share of the marital assets. The amount you will end up with depends on various factors, as explained below.
Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, the court will look beyond an equal division of these assets. Other aspects will come into play.
Understanding equitable division of property
The equitable distribution of marital assets is all about fairness. It is not always fair to divide everything on a 50/50 basis. When dividing marital property, a family court judge will consider things like:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition and maintenance of the marital assets
- The age and health of each spouse
- Their sources of income and the amount
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- The earning capacity of each spouse, among others
All these will inform an equitable division of the marital assets, and you may end up with a little more or less than your ex.
Protecting your rights during property division
While you deserve a share of the marital estate, it is crucial to be proactive and ensure you get what you deserve. For instance, if your ex hides some marital assets from the divorce court, it could take away from your rightful share.
As such, it is in your best interests to learn more about your rights and what you can do to protect them. It is equally worthwhile to get help if you are unsure about what to expect during this critical stage of your divorce or have concerns about suspicious financial transactions by your soon-to-be ex prior to the proceedings.