Marital property division is one of the most difficult aspects of getting divorced, especially in contentious separations where heightened emotions make negotiation difficult. While family courts can determine the distribution of marital assets, it’s much less stressful and more affordable to settle matters between yourselves. Understanding your rights under the state’s laws and consulting with an experienced attorney will increase the chances of getting everything you’re entitled to.
Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution
Many states follow a “community property” principle, in which each spouse is assumed to own an equal share of any property acquired during the marriage. Others, such as Massachusetts, apply an equitable distribution standard, meaning the division of assets must be fair and just. In some cases, an equitable distribution may provide two-thirds of the marital estate to the higher earner, or grant a larger share to a spouse who stayed home with the children.
Dividing the Property
Rather than dividing each asset individually, the courts will usually approach the estate as a whole to ensure each party receives their proportional share. For instance, you may be entitled to keep the marital home, while your spouse is granted the vehicle, valuable jewelry, and their retirement account. Applying this same approach in negotiations will achieve a just settlement without the time and expense of extended litigation.
How an Attorney Can Help
With their knowledge of marital property division law, a skilled attorney can provide valuable objectivity and help you understand your rights. The best divorce lawyers have extensive negotiation expertise, and can often leverage separate issues against one another to help achieve your goals.
With an extensive background in family law and an award-winning track record of success, the Law Offices of Robert E. Badger provides the legal guidance you need in even the most contentious divorce cases. For over 20 years, these legal professionals have helped separating couples throughout Boston, MA, resolve marital property division and child custody issues, both in and out of the courtroom. Visit their website or call (617) 963-3599 today to schedule a consultation with an attorney, and follow their Facebook for regular news and updates.