Is The House I Owned Before The Marriage Included in My Divorce in Massachusetts?

Hi, I’m Bill Farias, founder of Farias Family Law. This is a question that came up a couple of weeks ago. A gentleman I met with is moving toward divorce. He’s worried because he bought a house five years before he got married. And now that he’s headed toward divorce, he’s concerned that that house is going to be included in the marital pot for division of property.

So the way that this works is that, if you do not have a prenuptial agreement, what people know as a prenup, which is a contract as to how property is divided if there is a divorce, if you don’t have one of those, then by default, all of the property owned by either party, whether individually or jointly, whether bought before or during the marriage, is considered for division.

Now, it’s considered for division doesn’t mean that it will actually be divided or that either party will get a certain percentage of it in divorce. To figure that out, the court looks at a number of different factors. The court will look at the length of the marriage, the amount of time the parties were a monetary unit, the parties’ assets, income, health, age, and other factors. But on this particular issue, my experience has been that the most important factors are, one, the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that a premarital asset will be included for division.

Number two, how long were the parties a financial unit? So, if the parties were only married for five years, but were living together for 20 years and were a financial unit for 20 years and although the house was bought before the marriage, it was bought during their relationship and money from their relationship, from their financial unit was being pumped into that house, then that also increases the likelihood that the house will be considered for division.

So you have length of the marriage, the length of time the parties were a financial unit, when the house was purchased in relation to those other two factors and the contributions that were made while these people were a financial unit to that particular piece of property.

If you have any other questions about this, you can call us at (508) 675-0464. You can email us at [email protected]. If you found this video helpful, feel free to subscribe to our channel and share it with anyone you think might benefit from it. And you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram at Farias Family Law.

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