Couples who are going through a divorce often quickly realize that it is much more than signing a few documents. Many Massachusetts residents who are going through a divorce may be blind-sided by the large number of decisions that they must make before the divorce is finalized. Property division can be a long and confusing process, especially because not all property is valued or taxed in the same way.
Many people may be unaware that even though different financial accounts are valued at the same amount the owners may receive different amounts when they choose to withdraw the money. For example, the money in a person's retirement account will not be taxed in the same way the money from a money market or other account would be. If one ex-spouse is given full control of properties, such as the marital home or vacation properties, then he or she is usually expected to pay taxes on those properties as well.
However, debts are not divided with other assets. Even though one ex-spouse may be given control of a property and is therefore expected to pay the taxes and mortgage payments on it, the other former spouse is still responsible. If the property was jointly owned, then the bank or other entity holding the debt will expect the second spouse to fulfill the payment obligations if the first fails to do so.
Some people may find themselves adjusting to a new standard of living after their divorce. This is because many do not have access to the same amount of funds or properties that they once had. Massachusetts couples who are considering divorce and wish to know more about what property division issues they might face may wish to consult with an attorney in their area.