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Dividing assets in Massachusetts later in life

More and more divorces are taking place later in life. When a divorce occurs with a couple that is over 50, there are many unique concerns that do not affect a couple that divorces at 35. Older couples may have concerns with retirement, financial planning and future work concerns.

Because of these concerns, those divorcing in midlife must work carefully through property division issues. Each of the sexes has different concerns during this process. Women often worry about their ability to retire, while men typically worry more about when they will be able to retire. Financial damage to retirement funds can be avoided by remembering to consider the value of the home along with the tax consequences, as well as remembering to take the time to assess cash amounts, budgeting for money needed after retirement.

When a couple goes through a divorce in the state of Massachusetts, their property is subject to equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide up the couple's property, but the property does not have to be divided in an absolutely equal, 50/50 manner. This varies from several other states that follow community property rules. There, all community property in the marriage is divided evenly.

An important distinction to make when dividing assets is whether they are community or non-community property. Community property is all property that has been accumulated during the marriage. Non-community property is that which is kept separate from the marriage.

Determining what is subject to division by equitable distribution rules can be complex in the state of Massachusetts. Couples with unique property division issues, including retirement and pension plans, should seek the help of experienced legal professionals in order to best protect their interests and rights.

Source: Huffington Post, "4 Divorce Mistakes That Can Derail Retirement," Marilyn Timbers, Aug. 27, 2013