Property division options for a Massachusetts divorce

For residents of Massachusetts who are facing divorce, a subject that is always raised is property division. It can be confusing when deciding who gets what involves the dwelling where the spouses have lived while they were married. There are several options on the property division path that can be taken, depending on the particular situation of the couple.

How well the two people get along can be a huge factor in deciding what to do with a house. Many times selling the house and splitting the money is the best option if the couple gets along. This would allow each person to walk away and begin a new life. If the relationship has gone sour and the two just cannot work things out amicably, the court may decide any division necessary.

There are times when one spouse wants to stay in the house after the divorce — often when children are involved. Sometimes the parent who chooses to stay in the home will buy out the interest of the former spouse. In this case, lenders may require proof that whoever stays in the home will be able to make all payments. Even if one spouse has been bought out, however, the court can still require that spouse to help make mortgage payments to ensure the children are given proper dwelling provision.

On the contrary, if there is negative equity in the house, it cannot be sold to completely pay the total amount owed, so the couple will have to equally share in paying the debt. As property division can be complicated and must be tailored specifically to each couple’s case, some research will need to be conducted concerning Massachusetts laws. Understanding how the laws apply to a particular case may help relieve some of the stress a divorce can sometimes bring.

Source:, Pros and cons of options for divorcing couples, Emma Ann Hughes, Jan. 2, 2014

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