In a divorce, Massachusetts law requires the consideration of various factors in the division of assets and liabilities.
Assets include things like real estate, bank and investment accounts, retirement and pension plans, life insurance policies with cash values, interests in certain types of trusts and inheritances, interests in businesses, corporations, or partnerships including family owned businesses, personal property, jewelry, antiques and artwork, stock and stock options, and more. Liabilities include mortgages, credit card debts, personal or other loans, car loans, and more. Some of the factors to be considered by a Court in dividing assets and liabilities include the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the contribution of the parties to the acquisition and maintenance of the marital assets and debts, future needs of the parties, education, ability to acquire future income and assets, and other factors which are outlined in Massachusetts General Laws c. 208 section 34.
Massachusetts law requires the division to be “equitable,” not necessarily “equal”. It is important to consult an attorney regarding the various options you have, which may also involve tax considerations, valuations, impending or existing bankruptcies, and different needs and interests of the parties which may determine how the division occurs. Understanding your assets and liabilities and the options you have, and thinking about creative solutions, can help you determine the best approach to fit your needs and result in an equitable division.
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