Unequal Division: Can I Give My Spouse More Than Half the Assets?
Asset Division Demystified
It is not uncommon for spouses to fight for months on end about who gets what asset. In fact, many couples end up in court over this age-old debate.
In community property states, each spouse is entitled to half of the marital assets. Massachusetts, however, is an equitable distribution state. This means that a couple’s assets need to be divided fairly.
Fairly doesn’t necessarily mean equally. It is possible for an unequal division to still be fair. An unequal division is usually offset by other considerations, such as an exchange for debts or for tax liability.
An Unequal Division, Your Way
You can decide how to divide your assets on your own. In fact, you can get creative when dividing your assets and debts and how you arrange for alimony. You have a lot of options when it comes to these issues. For example, you can transfer more assets to your spouse in lieu of ongoing alimony payments.
You can also transfer more assets to your spouse if he or she is also taking more of the debt. As long as your division of the marital estate is fair and you can agree, you can decide how it all plays out. Thus, if you want to give your spouse more than his or her “fair share”, you can do so as long as it is offset by some consolation (e.g. he or she does not ask for alimony).
Consider divorce mediation if you want to divide your assets in a way that meets your unique needs. There are many options for dividing assets, and I encourage couples to explore them all. Divorce mediation is a great way to divorce on your own terms. In mediation, you and your spouse make all the important decisions, such as whether or not you will have an unequal division of your assets. An experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator can inform you of your options and help you and your spouse negotiate an agreement on dividing your assets.
Making the decisions in your divorce can allow you to tailor your separation agreement to suit your needs and lifestyle.
Do you have questions about dividing your assets? Mediation Advantage Services is here to help. Polly A. Tatum is highly experienced in Massachusetts family law and can help you and your spouse creatively divide your assets in divorce mediation. 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 [email protected] 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.