Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Massachusetts?

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Massachusetts?

Kaylyn McKenna
 | 

Divorce is something that no couple hopes to go through. The process is stressful, time consuming, and can spark a lot of questions or concerns. One of those concerns might be whether or not you will be allowed to remain in the family home. Find out whether you can expect to receive the house in your divorce and learn what factors will be weighed when splitting up your shared marital assets.

 

How is Property Divided?

 

Massachusetts is not a community property state. This means that it is not guaranteed that assets will be split evenly between divorcing spouses. A variety of factors are used to determine how to best divide assets and each case is evaluated according to its unique circumstances. There is no set formula for dividing property in Massachusetts.

 

Massachusetts law also allows the courts to divide all property held by the couple including separate property. This is important to be aware of if your home was obtained prior to the marriage or was inherited individually. However, courts most frequently award separate property to the original owner. 

 

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 208 Section 34 lists the following considerations that the court will use to determine how to assign alimony and divide property during a divorce:

 
  • Length of the marriage

  • The conduct of both parties during the marriage including financial misconduct

  • The age of each spouse

  • The current health of each spouse

  • The occupation, sources of income, vocational skills, and future employability of each spouse

  • The estate, liabilities and financial needs of each of the divorcing spouses.

  • The opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income for each party

  • The amount and duration of alimony, if any is granted

  • The  needs of any dependant children

 

These factors are weighed by the courts and used to determine a fair and equitable division of assets, including the family home, between the spouses. 

 

One spouse could be granted the home, one party could buy out the other’s equity in the home, or the spouses could sell the home and split the profits. If one spouse keeps the home the mortgage generally needs to be refinanced to remove the other parties name.

 

The couple also has the option to go through mediation to negotiate the distribution of assets among themselves. This is often encouraged by the courts. If your heart is set on keeping the home, mediation can allow you to negotiate with your prior partner. 

 

Preparing for Your Massachusetts Divorce

 

The best way to ensure that your interests are well represented throughout the divorce process is to work with a skilled attorney. Browse the listings on our Lawyer Search tool to find a Masschuetts divorce attorney to help guide you through this stressful process and advocate for your interests. 

 

Keeping the home during the divorce can provide a sense of normalcy and security to yourself and your children. An attorney will be able to help you strategize to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome when it comes to retaining ownership over your treasured property.


This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Kaylyn McKenna

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