Dividing Marital Assets

Once it is determined what assets are considered marital property and which are non-marital property, the process of equitably dividing those assets may begin. In some states, such as California, where the concept of community property is observed, the division of marital property is very straight forward and all property is divided equally with little to no room for the discretion of the court. However, Massachusetts follows the concept of equitable distribution.

Under the concept of equitable division, the Court does not have to evenly divide assets between the parties. Rather, the court will attempt to divide the assets equitably or fairly between the parties. In determining what is fair, the Court will consider a number of factors including: the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the course of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the lifestyle of the parties, each of the parties occupations and future earning potential, the relative needs of the parties and each of the party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation or appreciation of the assets.

In order to arrive at a fair distribution of the assets it is therefore very important to fully understand the factors used by the court to determine the most equitable division of assets.