There are many issues to negotiate during a divorce. One of the most problematic may be that of property division. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution of property state, meaning all marital property is divided between spouses according to what the judge presiding over the case deems fair. While you may consider the family home, vehicles, furniture and savings account balance the only forms of marital property, you may want to think again. There are many types of marital property you may not have considered but are entitled to a portion of.
Before signing the final divorce settlement, consider the following types of marital property:
- Expensive collections, such as antiques, cars, horses, art and coins
- Jewelry and other gifts given between the married couple
- Lottery winnings and tax refunds
- Term life insurance plans, 401K plans, stocks and annuities
- Exclusive golf course and country club memberships
- Trademarks, copyrights, patents and other types of intellectual property
If your spouse loaned money to a friend while you were married, and the friend repaid the money after you have filed for divorce, you are still entitled to half of the repaid money. Keep in mind that both parties are required to disclose all property and assets that were amassed during the marriage. In some cases, one spouse may give expensive property or large sums of money to a friend or family member, only to get that gift or money back once the divorce is finalized. This is illegal, as you are entitled to half of that property if it was accumulated while you were married.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.