Massachusetts is an equitable distribution
state, meaning that the law requires that all of the marital property be divided in a fair and equitable fashion.
"Equitable" is that which the Court finds to be fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Note that equitable may well be something other than a 50/50 split; thus “equitable” is not necessarily “equal.” The court considers the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
Generally speaking, property brought into a short-term marriage by either party is that party’s separate, non-marital property. Also, property received during the marriage by one party as a gift or inheritance may be considered non-marital property. All property acquired during the marriage with marital funds or through marital effort will likely be deemed to be marital property, regardless of how it is titled. Property owned by one party prior to the marriage but which has increased in value may be viewed in part or in whole as a marital asset.
So, most likely, you wife will take what she brought into the marriage and you will take what you brought into the marriage. Anything that was purchased with marital funds will be considered marital property and will have to be divided. Further, if you have made money on the 3 family house since you've been married, or it has gone up in value during the last 2 years, that amount of money that was made, or the increased valuation in the last 2 years on the 3 family home may be considered marital property and must be divided.
It is true that you will have to pay child support if your wife is going to have primary physical custody of the child. However, the amount of child support depends upon a lot of variables. Below is a link to MassLegalHelp regarding commonly asked questions about custody and visitation.
Again, as far as your assets as well as your debts, you will probably each take away what you came into the marriage with. If you have incurred MARITAL debts during the marriage (eg. joint credit card debt), those must be divided in the same way as your assets.
I hope you find this information useful.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.
Thank you for your business!
***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!