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Complex property division in Massachusetts

One of the most complex aspects of a divorce is the division of property. Married couples may have multiple liabilities and assets such as taxes, bankruptcy, insurance policies, family business, annuities, stocks, profit-sharing, pension plans, military benefits and retirement benefits. In divorce, all of these assets and liabilities will need to be accounted for and divided. However, this does not necessarily mean that each asset will be divided in half. Rather, a value will be assigned to each asset, then all assets and liabilities will be totaled to come up with a value for the marital assets. Then the property will be divided. For example, one spouse may keep the house, while another keeps a retirement account of similar value.

To complicate matters further, some spouses may attempt to hide assets in an attempt to retain them. If the couple is unable to agree on property division, a court will follow the principles of equitable distribution in making its determination. The risk to this approach is that the court may disregard any points of agreement or wishes the couple did have.

The best way to avoid this outcome is to come to full agreement regarding property division and submit it for the court's approval. The attorneys at our firm have extensive experience in assisting our divorcing clients negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement with their estranged spouses.

We also have experience in helping to find assets that may have been secreted by the other party. We often work with forensic accountants and other professionals to account for these assets and place a valuation on them. If a negotiated settlement is not possible, our attorneys are equally adept at vigorously litigated contested issues in court. You are invited to learn more about the services we can provide by visiting our divorce page.

Source: Johnson Sclafani & Moriarty Attorneys at Law, "Springfield Property Division Lawyers", November 06, 2014

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