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Division of Marital Property

There are many factors taken into consideration when property is divided in a divorce action. The length of the marriage and whether the assets were accumulated by a spouse before the marriage are only some of the factors. Further, once the assets are divided in a separation agreement or at trial, absent fraud, it cannot be undone. Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 208, Section 34, the court can award to either spouse all or a portion of the estate of the other. The estate can include all tangible and intangible property. The court considers factors such as the age, occupation, employability, health, income and liabilities of each of the parties in dividing the assets. The court further considers the parties ability to increase their income and assets in the future and the needs of the dependent children. The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker is also a factor. Lastly, the court may consider the contribution of each of the spouses in obtaining, increasing and maintaining their property in dividing the assets.

The court may assign the property of one party to another regardless of whose name it is in. Property subject to division is not limited to property acquired during the marriage but includes all property whenever and however acquired. Rice v. Rice, 372 Mass. 398, 400 (1977). Property includes anything of value. It can include unconventional assets such as frequent flyer miles or season tickets to a sporting venue.

In determining the date of division for valuation of an asset, the date of the divorce usually determines the asset value. However, the date of separation may be appropriate in circumstances when the other party has not contributed to the value of the marital estate from date of separation to the time of the divorce.

Client Reviews
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I engaged Attorney Fiore for my divorce. My ex-spouse hired a big (in name only) Boston law firm that thought they could pressure us with various discovery requests, non-standard positions and they were also unresponsive for over 20 months. Attorney Fiore appropriately advised me through this frustrating process and held firm on the underlying principles of the case. We ultimately prevailed due to her expertise and conviction. More importantly, she is not afraid to tell her clients the truth which is essential for her clients to be well informed. Client, Keith
★★★★★
Susan is an amazing lawyer! I can honestly say I am very lucky and blessed to have her as my lawyer! I have been going through a lot with my son's father in court. Susan is very knowledgeable about law practices and very honest about how something may… Client, Kayla
★★★★★
There are a lot of testimonials here about how difficult peoples divorce was and how Attorney Fiore assisted them through that difficult time in their life. I have no doubt they are true. In my case I was fortunate to have Attorney Fiore help me… Client, Ray
★★★★★
If I had a ballot for Massachusetts Attorney of the Year, Attorney Susan Fiore would get my vote! I retained Attorney Fiore to help me navigate the legal system and explore an uncontested resolution to a divorce/child support modification… Client, Gregg