The issue of property division often becomes contentious in Massachusetts divorce cases, and this is especially true when the assets involved are significant. Assets such as stock portfolios, artwork and real estate are often difficult to divide equitably, and sometimes reaching an understanding regarding their value is challenging. Experts may be called upon to assist with such valuations, but even experts sometimes find an agreement elusive.
Massachusetts law requires marital property to be divided equitably, but that does not mean all assets must be allocated equally between the spouses. In many cases, the primary residence will not be sold, and the spouse who remains in the home will receive a smaller share of other assets. The unpredictable nature of appreciation is another consideration, and discussions about the division of assets that are expected to increase in value may become antagonistic. When an agreement can not be reached, a judge will decide what is fair.
If you are contemplating a divorce, you may have concerns that go beyond how assets will be divided. Investments are often highly complex in nature, and you could face taxation issues if they are liquidated before maturity. You may also have concerns about business holdings if dividing stock equally would impact your ability to run a company effectively.
Our extensive experience in high net-worth divorce cases makes us familiar with these issues, and we help our clients to remain focused on pragmatic considerations while we provide strong advocacy to protect your interests. If you are considering a divorce, and you are concerned about how your business and other property will be handled, we have put together more information about these matters on our equitable distribution page.