Dividing Assets: Can We Decide How?
Divorce may be a time of loss, but you don’t have to let someone else decide what marital property you have to let go of. Dividing assets in a Massachusetts divorce does not have to be court-ordered. And, contrary to popular belief, the judge will not split all your assets in half between you two. The law does not mandate a 50/50 split. Rather, the court will use a 50/50 split as a starting point. Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts divide assets according to the equitable distribution principle. This simply means assets are divided fairly between the two spouses. What is considered fair is up for interpretation, and this may make some people worry.
The judge will consider several factors when dividing your assets. The income, debts, earning capacity, health, education, skills and training, job experience, and contributions of each spouse are just a few of the factors that will be taken into account. A fair outcome will vary from divorce to divorce and even from judge to judge. This uncertainty is why many people decide to divide their assets on their own. The court will hold your agreement to the standard of fairness, but how you meet that standard can be up to you and your spouse.
If you prefer to stay in control of how your property is divided you may want to consider divorce mediation. Mediation is particularly helpful to couples dividing assets on their own. The format of mediation lets you and your spouse make all the important decisions about your money and belongings. You and your spouse can work out an agreement on your asset division in mediation and include it in your separation agreement.
It’s normal to want to have a say when it comes to divvying up the property and items you care about. Luckily, asking a judge to decide isn’t your only option. Consult with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you want to divide your assets on your own. A mediator can provide you with the legal knowledge you need to divide your assets according to the court standard. A mediator can also provide the guidance and structure that is necessary for successful negotiations.
If you want to stay in control of your asset division, contact Mediation Advantage Services for experienced family law help. Polly A. Tatum can assist you and your spouse with dividing your assets amicably. 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, 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.