Property Division Lawyers In Melrose Assisting Clients in Obtaining an Equitable Division of Property
Going through the multiple aspects of divorce can be extremely stressful and, at times, almost unbearable. One of the aspects that may have to be settled in the divorce is the division of property between the two spouses.
Massachusetts chooses to follow an equitable division approach when attempting to determine to whom money and other property should be distributed following a divorce if the two parties cannot decide on their own. The long-range goal of this type of consideration is to create a fair and equitable distribution by taking into account a number of factors in terms of the income and long-term financial prospects of both parties.
In the past, gender and who was determined to be at fault were top considerations in the division of property. However, this is not the case in today’s times. The focus is now on attempting to maintain the standard of living that each party enjoyed during their marriage to one another.
In cases where there is a considerable amount of financial resources and property, and one spouse was highly dependent upon the other for financial support, there is a greater chance that there will be financial support that results from the divorce.
It is highly recommended that you obtain a lawyer who is qualified to handle property division cases. Not all divorce attorneys have the necessary skill and knowledge to negotiate a settlement that will be in your best long-term interest.
What are Some of the Factors the Court Considers When Making a Decision About Property Division?
One important factor to remember in regard to an equitable division of property is that the term “equitable” does not necessarily mean equal in divorce cases. The court will review and consider a number of factors before making a decision in regard to property division. Some of those factors include:
- Length of marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- Occupation/vocational skills/employability of each spouse
- Sources of income and the amounts generated by each spouse
- Needs of each party
- Amount and duration of spousal support (if applicable)
- Present and future needs of minor-aged children of the marriage
- Opportunities for each party to acquire future assets and income
- Contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit
All of these factors are analyzed by the court in order to make a fair division of property. A skilled lawyer is essential during this phase of the court process in order to assist you with the many complexities that often accompany property division in divorce cases.
What is Considered to be Marital Property in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts defines marital property as all possessions, interests, and items acquired by a couple during the course of their marriage. Massachusetts does not consider property or possessions that were acquired by either party before the marriage began to be marital property. Property that was obtained before marriage is typically considered to be “separate property” that the court will not divide between the two parties.
In general, marital property, also known as the “marital estate” in Massachusetts, usually consists of tangible property such as houses, automobiles, and other types of real estate. It also includes intangible property such as investments, stock options, retirement accounts, and other portfolios.
What is an Automatic Restraining Order in Cases of Property Division?
In Massachusetts, when a couple is seeking a divorce, preventive rules are set in place in order to keep one or both parties from manipulating their financial resources for their own economic gain.
When one of the parties files a complaint, and the other receives notice, the automatic restraining order goes into effect. There are very strict rules that must be adhered to by both parties, such as the following:
- Neither party is permitted to sell, transfer, or hide property. Both parties are permitted to utilize their resources for reasonable living expenses, normal investing or business purposes, and any attorney or litigation fees. For any other transactions, both parties will need either a written agreement from the other or court order.
- Neither party is permitted to acquire any new debt against the other party. For example, one spouse cannot take out a line of credit secured by their marital status.
- Unless authorized by the court, neither party is permitted to change the beneficiary of any life insurance, retirement, or pension plan.
- Neither party is permitted to remove their spouse or children from existing medical, dental, life, or auto insurance.
Why Should I Hire the Martino Law Group, LLC to Represent me With My Property Division Case?
In cases of divorce where property division becomes a serious legal issue, clients need an attorney who will represent their best interests. Often, clients do not have a full understanding of how the division of their marital property will fully impact other areas of their life.
The Martino Law Group, LLC is committed to helping our clients make fully informed decisions in regard to the division of their marital assets. It is not uncommon for the opposing side to not be honest and forthright in disclosing all of the information that pertains to their financial assets. Therefore, it is essential that your attorneys have sharp insight and good investigative skills in order to perform a comprehensive asset analysis.
The attorneys of the Martino Law Group, LLC have a vast amount of experience and skill in dealing with cases that involve property division. Property division can quickly become contentious between spouses who are in the process of divorce. Allow us to give you peace of mind by handling the complicated legal issues that often accompany the division of marital assets.