While some issues in a divorce are unique to a couple based on their particular situation, all couples who are divorcing in Massachusetts must face the issue of property division. For some couples, dividing property may be easier than for others – this is especially true when a couple owns few assets. For other couples, though, dividing property can be a complex process that demands the input of various experts.
If you are getting a divorce and own rental property jointly with your spouse, here’s a look into how rental property may be divided. For more information, reach out to Heather Ward Law for a consultation.
Property Division Rules in a Massachusetts Divorce
The division of rental property in divorce is governed by the exact same laws that govern the division of all other types of assets in a separation. To be sure, the law holds that all marital property must be divided in a manner that is equitable. Equitably does not mean equally; rather, equitable refers to an arrangement that is fair and just to both parties. In order to determine what is equitable, the court will consider numerous different factors, including the finances of each party, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, tax implications of a property division settlement, and more.
What About Rental Property?
Rental property is subject to the same equitable division standard as is other property, assuming that the rental property is marital property. Before the court makes a decision about how the property should be divided, though, the couple will have an opportunity to reach an agreement on their own. A couple may choose to:
- Sell the property and divide the proceeds;
- Maintain the property and split income and debts associated with the property; or
- Transfer ownership of the property to one party of the marriage in exchange for something else, such as monetary funds or another property type (such as the marital home).
In dividing rental property, it is best to have a professional appraisal of the property conducted in order to determine its worth. Working with a financial professional who can provide insight about the financial aspects of the property over time, including value of rental income, increase in value, tax consequences, etc., is also strongly recommended. Rental property may be extremely lucrative, and it is important that you understand a property’s value before reaching an agreement about that property in a divorce.
Divorce Lawyer Heather M. Ward Can Help
Dividing property in a divorce can be complicated, especially if rental property or other valuable property types exist. At the office of Heather Ward Law, attorney Heather M. Ward can help you to understand your options and how to negotiate a property division settlement that supports your best interests. For your consultation, please send our law firm a message or call (617) 903-8955 today.