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Divorce and The Length of Your Marriage

When considering divorce, there are many things to consider like property division, child custody, alimony and more, but one important consideration that many couples overlook is the date. In Massachusetts the amount of time you were married might matter in a variety of ways. Here are just a few examples:

Dividing Assets

Figuring out exactly when a marriage is over can be complicated as some states look at the date of separation, but Massachusetts courts generally refer to the date of divorce. Assets acquired during the marriage through the date of divorce are joint property, so a bonus one spouse receives at a job might be divisible between both parties if it was earned before the date of divorce.

Joint Debts

While dividing property is obviously important, many people do not give much thought to dividing debts. This can cause problems later as you can still be held responsible if your ex does not pay for joint expenses he or she agreed to take care of. Similarly, you might need to figure out joint bank accounts or credit cards before a divorce so that you are not responsible for charges a partner makes after you split up.


If you make less money than your spouse, you may need to consider whether it is best to get a divorce if you are close to your 10th wedding anniversary. After 10 years, the spouse with a lower income could receive the other partner’s Social Security benefits. Federal benefits may also be available after 10 years if one spouse is in the military.

If you are considering divorce whether it be amicable or contentious, it is advisable to consult with an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney to learn your options and plan an effective course of action. We invite you to contact our office to schedule a no obligation consultation.

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