Sharing Instead of Splitting
To equitably divide your marital property, you must divide your assets fairly between you two. With larger assets, this sometimes means the asset itself will need to be sold so the proceeds can be split. Sometimes this isn’t wise. For example, real estate markets fluctuate widely, and your equity can change significantly from year to year. If you think you need to sell a piece of real estate in the divorce but the market isn’t favorable, it may in both your best interests to continue to share the asset after the divorce until a later agreed-upon date. Some couples chose to do this so their children can remain living in the family home. Typically, the house will be sold once the children move out. In other cases, a couple can agree to hold on to a piece of real estate they jointly own until the value reaches a certain point.
Sharing assets after divorce may seem like a bad idea. Indeed, it is only wise if there is a value that could be gained from holding on to instead of selling the asset. To avoid this conflict, you can put protective measures in place to ensure your rights are protected.
If you are going to share an asset after the divorce, you will need to include a detailed provision in your separate agreement. Don’t simply agree to share the asset. Establish the terms and conditions of the arrangement beforehand, so there are some guidelines in place. Include an agreement on when the asset will be sold and how the proceeds will be divided. Provide details on any responsibilities each spouse will have, such as maintenance or rental management. Also, include an agreement on how the asset should be handled come tax season. If you stand to receive a tax write-off or tax credit for the asset, make sure you agree in advance on who will claim the asset on their taxes.
These aren’t easy details to agree on, but they will ensure both your rights are protected. Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you want to share an asset after divorce. An attorney can help you create a separation agreement that includes provisions for the terms and conditions you will both follow. This will ensure your rights are protected and provide you peace of mind.
If you have questions about dividing assets, contact Mediation Advantage Services for experienced family law help. Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse create an agreement on property division that works for you. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.