The longer you stay married, the more assets and income you share with your spouse. You may have stayed married for long enough for the two of you to pay off your mortgage or accrue enough equity in it to make a cash offer on another property if you decide to sell.
Your home is probably one of the biggest assets that you share with your spouse, and you will want to make sure you get your fair share of the home in the divorce. How do you ask for a fair approach to your house when divorcing in Massachusetts?
You have to know how to classify the properties equity
The good news for you is that a fair solution is already the law of the land when you divorce in Massachusetts. Equitable distribution focuses on fair outcomes based on your family situation.
The income you’ve earned during marriage is marital property that each of you has a claim to in the divorce. The same is true for any assets that you purchase or invest in with your marital income.
Sometimes, one spouse already purchased the house before marriage, which means part of the value is separate and they have a greater interest in it overall. Other times, the house may be an inheritance or an asset held solely by one spouse. Even in these situations, each spouse may still have a partial claim to the equity in the property.
You have to know what the house is actually worth
Real estate prices tend to slowly trend upward over time. Although sometimes property prices do drop, they will likely recover and continue to go up gradually over the years. As such, the price you paid for the home when you bought it 25 or 30 years ago isn’t what your home is currently worth.
You will probably need an appraisal or a comparative market analysis created by a real estate professional to determine what your home is actually worth right now. Putting an accurate price on your property is key to getting your fair share of the equity in the home.
Familiarizing yourself with Massachusetts equitable distribution standard and other divorce laws will make you a better advocate for yourself during your divorce.