The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is not a 50/50 state. When a court is needed to rule on the allocation of assets, they are not necessarily divided equally between the two parties. While some states mandate a 50/50 split, Massachusetts is an equitable division state.
Commonwealth laws dictate that the courts can decide on a fair division of assets regardless of who actually owned it. A court could declare that the division is 60/40, or 70/30, etc. Any assets are subject to division between the spouses, and not always equally. This includes inheritance, a spouse owned business, real estate, retirement accounts, etc.
Many factors are taken into account when determining the division of assets. The factors considered are tailored to the individuals involved. Some examples include the length of the marriage, the behavior of each party during the marriage, the health status of both parties, and the occupations of each party. Additionally, children, lifestyle, and specific needs of each party can be weighed when deciding on a fair division of assets.
Debts and tax responsibilities should also be considered when dividing assets. Keep in mind that not all assets have the same tax consequences. Retirement funds, for example, are generally before tax assets, and tax is paid upon distribution of funds. Additionally, debts are not divided into other assets.
The process of asset division during divorce is complicated. For help navigating this complex issue in Massachusetts, contact our firm for reliable legal advice.