Hanover Division of Assets Lawyers
When a couple divorces, one of the most highly contested issues is the division of assets. This process can be complicated and overwhelming, as many different rules apply to various situations.
Additionally, the outcome of property division could affect you for years after your marriage ends. For this reason, you should consult with a Hanover division of assets lawyer as soon as possible if you need help protecting your property during a divorce.
Because the attorneys at O’Connor Family Law have over 35 combined years of exclusive family law experience, you should feel secure that your case is safe in our hands. Our extraordinary team can explain your rights and options under state law and work alongside you in pursuit of a fair outcome.
Understanding How Property is Divided in Hanover
In Massachusetts, the Court divides a couple’s assets according to the doctrine of equitable distribution. It is important to note that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Instead, the Court examines a variety of factors, including the value of the assets and debt in question, to determine how to distribute a couple’s property fairly.
In some equitable distribution states, the law allows divorcing spouses to retain sole ownership over any property procured separately or prior to marriage, while any assets gained jointly during the marriage are subject to division. In Massachusetts, however, the Court does not have to differentiate between property obtained before marriage from that which is obtained after the wedding, unless the division of any particular assets are outlined in an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. All property, no matter when it was acquired, is under the jurisdiction of the family court within a divorce.
As judges have a wide range of discretion when it comes to the division of property, many judges will take when the asset was acquired and how it was taken care of during the marriage in deciding whether that asset will be kept out of the overall division. This means that in some cases, property obtained separately by either spouse before their marriage may remain with its original owner, while this is not the case in other situations.
In some situations, it may be possible for the two parties to work together with their respective attorneys to reach a mutually favorable property division agreement. When the two parties opt to create an agreement, they may need to work with accountants, appraisers, and other valuation experts to ensure that all assets are accounted for and adequately evaluated, especially in cases involving high-net-worth individuals. Properly evaluating the couple’s assets is an essential part of the divorce process, because it may impact whether a judge approves or denies an agreement. If assets are not disclosed appropriately, the Court can end up assigning the entire amount to the other spouse later.
If the parties are unable to reach a consensus on the division of their assets and debts, the Court typically steps in and makes the final judgment. In many situations, being able to retain control of how your finances are divided by coming to an agreement rather than fighting over money is a much better outcome. In other cases, the cost of litigations makes sense with the outcome you desire. We’ve also seen opposing parties take an “I’d rather spend it all than give it to my ex” attitude, which is never a good one. We try to keep our clients focused on a cost-benefit analysis at all times when discussing whether to litigate or settle an asset division issue. A Hanover lawyer can provide unwavering assistance throughout the property distribution process and explain which assets may be subject to division.
Considerations in the Equitable Distribution of a Couple’s Assets
Numerous considerations can affect the Court’s final decision on the division of marital property. The health, age, and work prospects of both spouses are a few notable examples. The contributions of both parties to the asset and how it was dealt with during the marriage are other factors that help a judge decide how to divide it.
While allegations of fault are not required to file for divorce in Massachusetts, the Court may consider instances of marital misconduct when facilitating asset division. The misconduct generally needs to be fairly substantial and it has to be fairly intentional. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on prostitutes and gambling may cause a court to award more of the marital estate to the other spouse while a bad investment might not. A Hanover attorney can explain what factors the Court may consider when dividing assets in a specific case based on the details of the divorce.
Contact a Hanover Division of Assets Attorney
A Hanover division of assets lawyer can protect your financial future and property during divorce. Our team of dedicated attorneys can work hard to come up with creative solutions to any challenges that may arise during this process. Call our office as soon as possible to speak with a lawyer about your case.