How is Marital Property Divided?

Unlike child support, the division of marital property in Massachusetts is not a clear cut formula.  Yes, the court is guided by consistent factors, but different judges apply these factors with different emphases.  Here are the factors proscribed by the law:

1) Length of marriage;
2) Conduct of parties during marriage;
3) The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties;
4) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income;
5) The amount and duration of alimony;
6) The present and future needs of the dependent children of the marriage;
7) The contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates; and
8) The contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit.

In the state of Massachusetts, property division is final.  Unlike alimony or child support, you cannot modify the division of property after the divorce.  Accordingly, it’s crucial that you meet with an attorney to be sure you are obtaining the best possible division of property during your divorce.  You want to be sure you have sufficient assets to survive economically once you are living without joint income.