Divorce is a complex undertaking, and many couples find they are not prepared for the challenges involved in obtaining a fair settlement. When it comes to property division, Massachusetts law is based on an equitable division of property. Reaching an equitable division is not always easy, but experts offer some advice on how to go through the process with grace and dignity.
Despite the history between the spouses, honesty during property division is important for both parties to obtain a fair settlement. Hiding assets or secretly stashing money away may seem like a natural thing to do, but this can lead to serious legal ramifications. Attorneys make it a priority to seek out all assets that may be fair game during property division, and courts may penalize a spouse who tries to keep any joint assets off the table unlawfully.
During negotiations, it is helpful for both spouses to be willing to let go of certain assets rather than bogging down the discussions over small or emotional items. Having a big picture mentality and focusing on one's future financial needs may be helpful in keeping discussions moving in a positive manner. It will be wise to have a good understanding of how Massachusetts governs property division to avoid wasting time on procedures that are not lawful.
Undoubtedly, dividing assets can be contentious. However, many divorce experts agree that the best way to achieve a meaningful and satisfying division of marital property is when the spouses negotiate together outside of the courtroom. This may include mediation or collaborative law. Even if the couple has its difficulties coming to an agreement, the guidance of an individual attorney for each spouse can ensure that their rights are protected throughout negotiations.
Source: liveabout.com, "3 Tips For Dividing Marital Property During Divorce", Cathy Meyer, May 11, 2018