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Marital/Second Home Attorney in Worcester, Massachusetts

Going through a divorce is never easy, and things can become even more complicated when it comes to dividing property. In Massachusetts, the court follows the rules for equitable division of property. This means that the court will consider a variety of factors to determine who gets what.  

One of the most contentious topics about dividing property in a divorce is, “Who gets the marital home and the second home?” At Solutions Through Mediation, I am focused on providing practical solutions to each client by using collaborative resolution methods. Contact my office in Worcester, Massachusetts, to schedule a consultation. I represent clients in family law matters in Worcester County and throughout Massachusetts. 

Division of Property in Massachusetts  

Under Massachusetts law, all assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property and must be divided equitably by the court. This also applies to debts. Both spouses are responsible for any debt incurred during their marriage, regardless of whose name is on it.  

The court considers certain factors when determining how to divide marital property, including but not limited to:  

  • The length of the marriage 

  • The age and health of each spouse 

  • The income and earning capacity of each spouse 

  • The needs and liabilities of each spouse 

  • Contribution from one spouse’s career or education 

  • Contributions made by one spouse in caring for family or managing finances  

  • Tax consequences associated with particular assets 

  • Prior agreements between the spouses about the division of assets or debts 

  • Other factors that may have an effect on fairness in the distribution 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes two types of divorce: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. While some couples are able to agree on the division of property on their own (uncontested), others may need to seek the help of a mediator or judge (contested). Either way, it is important to understand what happens to the marital home (and the second home, if applicable) when filing for divorce. 

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Factors in Deciding Who Gets the Home(s)  

When it comes to deciding who gets the marital home, there are several factors that come into play. The court will consider each spouse’s contribution to paying off any mortgage or other loans associated with the house as well as which party has primary caretaking responsibilities for any children involved in the divorce proceedings.  

Additionally, if one spouse has been ordered to make spousal support/alimony payments, they may be entitled to receive more assets than their former partner in order to make up for those payments. Ultimately, it all depends on what is determined as fair. Massachusetts law allows the judge to decide the outcome regardless of whether the home is marital or separate property.  

Division of property can be a complex process during a divorce proceeding in Massachusetts — particularly when it comes to deciding who gets what assets like the marital home. Understanding your rights regarding equitable distribution can help ensure you get your fair share during your divorce proceedings. Contact me, a marital/second home attorney in Worcester, Massachusetts, to discuss your particular situation and understand how you can protect your rights.  

Options for Division  

Making the decision to get divorced is never easy, and it is often made even more difficult by the need to divide property. The marital home, in particular, can be a source of tension as both parties want to make sure they are getting a fair deal. Fortunately, there are several options available to divorcing couples when it comes to dividing the marital home: 

  1. Sell it and split the profit. One option for divorcing couples is to sell their home and split the profits. This may be an attractive option if neither party wants (or can afford) to keep the home. If this option is chosen, it is imperative that each spouse gets an appraisal of the house before listing it so that they have an accurate understanding of its value.  

  1. One spouse buys the other out. Another possibility is for one spouse to buy out the other’s share of ownership in the house. This could be beneficial if one person wants (or needs) to remain in the house but cannot afford to buy out their partner’s stake on their own. In this case, a loan might be necessary, or one partner could agree to allow payment over time, such as through spousal support payments over a period of years.  

  1. Maintain dual ownership. In some cases, both spouses may want (or need) to remain in possession of their home after divorce — this could be especially true if there are children involved who would benefit from remaining in one place and maintaining stability throughout this process. In this case, dual ownership may be an option. However, it should only be considered with caution as living together post-divorce can lead to additional stress and tension between spouses.  

  1. If there is a second home, give each spouse one of the homes. If there are two homes involved — for example, if there is a primary residence and a vacation home — it may make sense for each spouse to get one of them as part of their divorce settlement agreement. Again, it is important that each spouse gets an appraisal so they know what they are getting into before signing any legal documents agreeing to this arrangement.   

Deciding what happens with your marital home during a divorce can be a tricky and emotional process. However, as you can see, there are be several options available depending on your situation and preferences.  

Marital/Second Home Attorney in Worcester, Massachusetts 

The marital home is usually one of the biggest assets acquired by spouses during a marriage, which is why it often becomes a source of contention when spouses file for divorce. If you are contemplating or going through a divorce, I can help you understand your options for an amicable and peaceful division of your marital and second home. Contact me at Solutions Through Mediation in Worcester, Massachusetts, for a free case evaluation.