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Is MA a 50/50 state for property division in divorce?

Hi.  My wife and I were married five years ago in Massachusetts and we're getting a divorce now.  We both brought about the same amount of assets to the marriage (one car each, some cash, etc.). And we both have worked during the time of the marriage. I've been told that Massachusetts divorce courts will usually split the assets 50/50 in divorces and I'm wondering if that is true.  We have no kids and neither of us is expecting alimony or anything like that.  Thanks.

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Massachusetts divorce law with respect to the division of property is an equitable division system. In general, that is more often than not an equal division but does not have to be. A five year marriage is considered a short term marriage. Often, the Court will try to have the parties placed back to their respective finanical circumstances prior to the marriage. If you purchased a home during the marriage, the Court will look to who provided the down payment and paid the mortgage during the marriage. Assuming neither spouse provided a substantially greater portion of any down payment, the equity in the house would be split equally. If you both have retirement assets, the Court will look to the value at the time of the marriage and the time of the divorce and an equalization for the years of the marriage could be made. I strongly suggest you consult with a divorce attorney. Please view my web site at for more information and for setting up a consultation if interested.

Attorney Schutzbank is correct.  It may be true in your case that the court will order a 50/50 split, but Massachusetts is not a 50/50 state when it comes to division of property in divorce.   Massachusetts is an equitable division state, meaning the judge will try to do what is fair.  That determination of what is fair, however, can vary from case to case and from one judge to another.  Think of all the possible fact patterns a judge can encounter in a divorce court.  In a situation like yours, where a couple marries without bringing a lot of assets to the partnership, they both work, no kids, then they get divorced, a 50/50 split may make sense.  In another case, where one partner has sacrificed a career to raise kids for 20 years, the judge may not think a 50/50 division is equitable at all, because the stay-at-home parent will be starting at a huge disadvantage in terms of earning potential when the marriage ends. 

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