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  • Writer's pictureSummers Family Law

Splitting Up: Navigating Asset Division in Divorce

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Divorce can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to dividing assets. In Massachusetts, the division of marital assets must be "equitable," which means fair. This does not necessarily mean that assets will be divided exactly equally, but rather based on what's fair in the specific circumstances of the case.

What is Considered Marital Property?

All assets and debts are considered “marital.” This means that it does not matter if one spouse made more money than the other or if the couple kept separate bank accounts and paid for expenses separately.

How is Property Divided in Massachusetts?

If a court, rather than the couple themselves, is deciding how to divide assets, Massachusetts law (Chapter 208, Section 34) specifies that “the court may assign to either husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other." In other words, the court can take all the assets and debts and divide them in a way that it deems fair.

Couples in Massachusetts going through divorce are permitted to draw up their own agreement dividing property, which a judge will review and approve. If an agreement cannot be reached, a court determines who gets what. The factors the court considers include the age, health, and employability of each spouse, the length of the marriage, each party’s needs and income, the needs of any children involved, and how each spouse contributed to the marriage.

Importance of Working with Professionals

It is essential for people going through a divorce to get a comprehensive look at all the assets and debts involved. Working with professionals, such as a family law attorney, can help ensure that all assets are accounted for, and that the division of assets is fair.


In conclusion, the division of assets in a Massachusetts divorce must be equitable, which means fair, but not necessarily equal. Couples can draw up their own agreement dividing property, or a court can determine who gets what based on several factors. It's important to work with professionals to ensure that all assets and debts are accounted for, and that the division is fair.

Disclaimer: The content provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon any information provided without seeking professional legal counsel. The author does not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided. This blog is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader.

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