Having the right lawyer to negotiate and advocate on your behalf for property division in divorce is probably more important in Massachusetts than in just about any place else. Judges in Massachusetts have discretion to divide property in a way that seems fair based on the circumstances presented. Moreover, unlike other jurisdictions where spouses can claim gifts, inheritances, and prior-owned property as their own separate property, Massachusetts courts can divide virtually all property owned by either spouse, unless a couple has executed a pre- or postnuptial agreement.
Your attorney needs to present the most persuasive arguments on your behalf so that you can achieve your property objectives. And we know how to do just that.
At Reade Law Firm, PC, we understand how to use all the tools of litigation to obtain the best results for our clients. Our expertise enables us to advocate effectively, but we also take the time to ensure that you are aware of your legal rights so that you can make the best choices for your future.
Negotiating a Property Settlement
Even in a fiercely contested divorce, attorneys can often negotiate agreements on some issues. This not only saves time and money, but it also leads to results more likely to satisfy both parties.
It is a good idea to understand how a court might divide assets, then determine which assets mean the most to you and which assets you could stand to give up. When your legal team has this information, they can work to negotiate an arrangement that enables you to keep property you want and gain a fair overall distribution of assets and debts. The court is likely to approve a property division settlement if both partners have agreed to it.
If negotiations fail to produce an agreement, your team will have gained insight in how to best advocate for your objectives in court.
Factors Considered When Dividing Property
Massachusetts law requires judges to consider certain factors when making an equitable distribution of property. Equitable is not the same as equal, although courts may start with an assumption of equal distribution and then adjust results one way or the other to account for various evidence.
Factors that must be considered include:
- Length of the marriage
- Conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Age, health, and station of each spouse
- Each spouse’s occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, and estate
- Liabilities and needs of each of the parties
- The opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income
- The amount and duration of any alimony ordered
- Needs of dependent children
In addition to these mandatory factors, the court can also consider how much each spouse contributed toward the acquisition or preservation of each asset, whether one spouse contributed to the household as a homemaker, and other factors.
An Experienced Massachusetts Property Division Lawyer Can Protect Your Interests in Divorce
Some divorce outcomes, such as child support and alimony, can be adjusted after the divorce is finalized. Property division, however, can usually only be amended if one spouse has evidence of serious fraud or similar misconduct on the part of the other spouse. You get one chance for the right allocation of property and debts, and we want to make sure you get it.
Let the team at Reade Law Firm, PC advocate on your behalf to get the property you deserve so you can move forward after your divorce. Start by scheduling a confidential consultation today.