Is Massachusetts a Community Property State for Divorce?
Massachusetts follows equitable distribution rules, not community property rules. In Massachusetts, a judge will divide marital property equitably (fairly), but not necessarily equally. “Marital property” includes any income, assets, and property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. It doesn’t include any “separate” property, which is all income, property, and assets owned by a spouse before the marriage or given as gifts to one of them from someone else.
If you are considering filing for divorce in Massachusetts or have already filed for divorce in another state that has community-property laws and now want to file in MA because it’s more advantageous to you financially. Many offer free consultations with an attorney who can answer your questions about how the process in MA vs other states. You deserve the best representation available when it comes to such a delicate matter as divorce.
In Massachusetts, a judge will divide marital property equitably (fairly), but not necessarily equally. “Marital property” includes any income, assets, and property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. It doesn’t include any “separate” property, which is all income, property, and assets owned by a spouse before marriage or after separation. The court may also award spousal support to one of the spouses if it finds that this would be equitable under the circumstances.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
If you are considering getting divorced, it is important to understand the laws and your rights. You may have questions that only a professional can answer. At a minimum, you should hire an experienced attorney to review any proposed property settlement agreement.
Does a Prenuptial Affect Child Support in Massachusetts?
Prenuptial agreements are a great way to protect yourself and your assets before you get married. They can be used in Massachusetts to spell out each spouse’s property rights and responsibilities as long the agreement is fair and reasonable. However, a court won’t uphold provisions of a prenuptial agreement dealing with child custody and child support. Parents can’t contract away a child’s right to support or decide their best interests. Child support belongs to the child, not the parents.
If you have children from another relationship, it is important that you understand what your obligations are before signing any type of legal document such as a prenuptial agreement or separation agreement. You should consult an experienced family law attorney who will help you understand your rights and obligations under Massachusetts law so that you do not waive them unknowingly when entering into this type of legal document with your new spouse-to-be or current spouse.
It is important for parents considering marriage to know their rights regarding custody arrangements for their children if they are already divorced or separated from their other parent(s). The courts will take into account many factors when deciding what arrangement would be in the best interest of the children involved including but not limited to whether there has been domestic violence between either parent; whether one parent has had sole physical custody for more than two years; whether one parent has been absent without contact for more than six months; how much time each parent spends with the children during visitation periods
This post is for informational resources only. Be sure to review Massachusetts law or consult an Uncontested Divorce Attorney.