Although the Massachusetts statutes generally lay out with relative clarity the factors to be considered in determining the division of marital assets, the issue of division can, and often does, remain complicated in practice. This is especially true in high net worth divorce cases where myriad issues such as valuation of assets, length of the marriage and diversification of assets can impact how assets are divided. Therefore, it is essential to work with an attorney who is experienced in handling complex divorces and asset division.
Family law and divorce lawyer Andrew H. P. Norton has more than 20 years of experience handling complex high net worth divorce cases for Massachusetts and out-of-state clients. With his own knowledge and experience, and a network of financial experts, attorney Norton can help you through every aspect of your divorce, including the division of assets.
The First Determination: Separating Marital Assets From Non-Marital Assets
When dividing assets in a divorce, the Massachusetts courts first look to determine which assets are considered marital assets and which are considered non-marital. Only marital assets can be divided in a divorce, so an accurate determination in this regard is critical.
For example, many people assume that something like a retirement account will automatically be considered marital property. However, if the account holder spent years paying into the account before the marriage began, the entire account in most instances would not be considered marital property. In these instances the court will have to determine what portion of the account is subject to division.
Plymouth County attorney Andrew H. P. Norton brings more than 20 years of experience handling complex divorce matters. He is well versed in the determination of marital assets.
The Second Determination: Dividing Marital Assets
Once the marital and non-marital assets are determined, the court will have to determine how to divide the various martial assets. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, so the court does not attempt to create an exactly even split of the property. Rather, the court will make every effort to divide the property in the most equitable manner possible, considering the following factors:
- Length of the marriage
- Conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- Station of the parties
- Occupation of the parties
- Amount and sources of income of the parties
- Vocational skills of the parties
- Employability of the parties
- Liabilities of the parties
- Needs of the parties
- The opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income
- Present and future needs of the children
- The contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation of the respective estates
- The contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit
Attorney Norton has handled many complex cases involving the division of assets and has a thorough understanding of the factors used by the court to determine the most equitable division of assets arrangement. Because of his experience, Attorney Norton is in a better position to ensure that he can help you obtain the best result possible in your case.
Contact Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer
Call 508-322-7032 in Brockton, 508-746-2444 in Plymouth, or contact the firm online to schedule a free consultation with attorney Norton.