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Keeping aspects of property division in mind when divorcing in MA

For couples in Massachusetts who are going through a divorce, the emotional upheaval can be more than they can bear. Often, they're concerned about the closest, most tangible personal issues such as where they're going to live, who will have custody of children and what the support payments will be. This can lead to a lack of attention paid to property division and how marital property will be allocated fairly. Gathering information regarding these issues can help a divorcing couple prepare for them properly and not leave them to the side when they should be at the forefront.

In many instances, people in the midst of a divorce are concerned about the big items like the house and car. Other pieces of marital property might be forgotten, but could be more lucrative. This can include artwork that might have significant value. People who are eager to move on with their lives might not remember that retirement accounts held by the other spouse could be accessible in the settlement. Having an idea about what could be part of the settlement is imperative to getting everything one spouse or the other is entitled to. Employee benefits are frequently left unconsidered, but must be examined to see what can be folded into the negotiations.

Collections like the aforementioned artwork, stamps, rare books, coins, sports memorabilia and other collectibles often fluctuate in value. The more well-known items can be worth a substantial amount. If these items are listed on the homeowner's insurance policy, then it's likely that it can be part of the settlement in a divorce. Even if the items were gifts from one spouse to the other, these are part of the assets from the marriage. Other aspects like intellectual property including a patent, trademark, copyright and royalty can also be part of the marriage.

Property division might be more complex than a divorcing couple realizes. Although in many instances, there aren't a lot of issues in dispute, there sometimes are pieces of property that each spouse has a claim to or has a claim to its value. Before surrendering marital property and giving up the value, knowing the facts regarding property division is imperative. For help, discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in Massachusetts law is the first step.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets," Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2013

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