If you are about to or in the middle of a Massachusetts divorce how does retirement fit into the settlement?
Massachusetts is an “equitable division” state meaning the courts will divide property in an “equitable”; fair manner based upon numerous factors set forth in the statute.
In Massachusetts, ownership in or a right to retirement is a marital asset subject to division.
In considering the asset of retirement and its division, the court will apply the statutory factors to the facts of your marriage:
These factors are:
1. Length of the marriage
2. Conduct of the respective parties during the marriage
3. Ages of the respective parties
4. Health of the respective parties
5. Station of the respective parties
6. Occupations of the respective parties
7. Amount and sources of income of the respective parties
8. Vocational skills of the respective parties
9. Employ-ability of the respective parties
10. Estates of the respective parties
11. Liabilities of the respective parties
12. Needs of the respective parties
13. Current needs of the minor children of the marriage
14. Future needs of the minor children of the marriage
15. Opportunities available to the respective parties for future acquisition of capital
16. Opportunities available to the respective parties for future acquisition of income
17. Contributions of the respective parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their estates
18. Contributions of Husband or Wife as homemaker.
Finally there is a question of how to move through the divorce process; do you each want lawyers to represent you and make arguments to the court or do you as a couple and family want to try working with a mediator that will help educate you, help you generate options and help you make decisions as to what your agreement should be and give you the best chance for having a judge approve your agreement.