In Massachusetts, the length of the marriage is an important factor in determining how the family law court will divide property:
- In a short-term marriage, the judge’s goal is to put you back in the same position you were in prior to marriage. Generally, you will retain the separate property you brought into the marriage, as well as any appreciation of that property.
- In a middle-term marriage, you can retain some of the assets you brought to the marriage or that have appreciated during the marriage. However, the courts will look at the extent to which the assets of either party were woven into the fabric of the marriage. The court will divide those interwoven assets.
- In a long-term marriage, absent certain factors such as spousal dissipation, the court will generally divide all assets 50-50.
Our lawyers can guide you though the process of determining marital and separate property, discovering and valuing assets, and negotiating asset division. The marital estate in Massachusetts includes all tangible and intangible assets, including retirement benefits, intellectual property, businesses, inheritances, and possibly the expectancy of inheritances.