Divorce can be scary, and so are the misconceptions that come with it!
Misconception # 1: MY money is MY money – not my spouse’s. In Massachusetts, the “marital estate” is what gets divided, and that estate consists of anything you own, anything your spouse owns, and anything you own together. So, while you might think you’re preserving your rights by keeping your spouse’s name off your bank account, the Court says otherwise!
Misconception # 2: I owned this house before we got married, so my spouse gets nothing. As with money, ownership interest in the house also gets split equitably. If you owned your home by yourself before you and your spouse got married, it’s likely that the Court will let you keep the house…but you’ll have to pay your spouse for their equity first.
Misconception # 3: We never had joint accounts, so I don’t have to pay alimony. The longer you’re married, the more intertwined your money is…regardless of whose name is on what account. Whether or not a spouse is entitled to alimony is fact-dependent and has to do with income and ability to self-support, not whose name is on the bank accounts.
Misconception # 4: If we agree on everything, we don’t need to go to court. Massachusetts requires a hearing before a judge on every divorce – whether you’re in complete agreement or your case has to go to trial.
Misconception #5: We are in agreement on everything so we don’t need lawyers. A lawyer isn’t going to “blow up” your agreement – but we will make sure you understand what you’ve agreed to and that your agreement is written in an enforceable way. It’s always a good idea to work with a lawyer to review your separation agreement prior to signing.
We know divorce can be scary – we’d love to help! Please contact us to learn more.