Legal Articles

If my ex purchased our marital home before we were married, can I request the house as part of my divorce settlement?

In an ideal situation, you’d work with your ex to divide up assets fairly. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. Many couples hire attorneys to negotiate divorce terms on their behalf. Some couples even go to court and ask a judge to divide the marital estate.

So the simple answer is yes, you can request the marital home as part of your divorce settlement. A property owned by one spouse alone can become marital property if both spouses pay the mortgage or other expenses, or contribute to significant improvements.

However, divorcing couples may request specific assets during the division of property, but that doesn’t mean their request will be awarded. Massachusetts law requires the division of property in a divorce to be equitable. This means property division must be fair, though not necessarily equal.

Massachusetts law allows a judge to divide all property regardless of when it was acquired or which spouse actually owns it. When dividing assets, such as property, a judge will consider the length of the marriage, the present and future needs of any dependent children, each spouse’s income and contribution, and much more.

Monetary value will be assigned to the house, along with other assets for a judge to consider. Many couples opt to sell property in order to divide their assets. However, if one spouse wishes to keep the house, they may choose to forfeit other assets as a trade.

Because the division of assets can be complicated, it’s recommended you work with experts to help ensure you value your assets correctly. If you need help with your divorce proceedings or division of property, please contact our office right away.

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