In general, the longer a marriage lasts, the more likely you are to accumulate assets.
In a Massachusetts divorce, the division of marital property follows the law of equitable distribution.
What qualifies as marital property?
Marital property refers to assets acquired during the marriage. However, there are exceptions, such as inheritance or gifts. Common examples of marital property include:
- Real estate
- Retirement plans
- Savings and checking accounts
The court determines what qualifies as marital property on a case-by-case basis and distributes those assets fairly, which may not always be equal.
What does the court consider during distribution?
During the distribution process, the court may consider:
- How asset division may affect the best interests of children involved
- The financial obligations of both spouses
- How long the marriage lasted
- The ages of both spouses
- If one spouse was the primary source of income during the marriage
These are just common considerations. There may be more or less depending on the circumstances of your situation.
How does prenuptial agreement impact distribution?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document signed before marriage that stipulates the distribution of assets in the event of a divorce. If legally enforceable, the prenuptial agreement is typically iron-clad. However, Massachusetts law allows invalidation of a prenup under certain circumstances, such as a spouse’s mental health deterioration or when inflation negates the agreement’s intentions. The court may take a second look at a prenup to determine if it qualifies for invalidation.
Couples can avoid a complex divorce process if they agree on the division of assets beforehand.