You and your spouse may already have a plan for dividing your family home during the divorce. However, you also have to split your rental properties.
Massachusetts has guidelines you have to follow as you decide how to handle rental units. According to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a court usually divides the marital property between each spouse. This includes the rental properties you purchased together. However, if you owned a house before the marriage, you usually retain this asset.
The state guidelines
A court may not award the same number of properties to each of you. Instead, the court considers several factors, including the following:
- The length of the marriage
- Your ability to earn income
- Your financial need
Using these criteria, the court divides the rentals so that you both receive the same value. You may own four properties, for example. One of you could receive the house worth the most money. The court may award the other three houses to the other spouse. Although one of you would have more properties, you would both receive similar values.
Other potential methods
You and your spouse could consider other ways to divide your rental properties. Nerd Wallet says that you may sell the properties. In this scenario, you would divide the proceeds from the sales. A court may still distribute this money in a way that is equitable. The larger share could go to the spouse with the greater financial need.
Additionally, one of you may prefer to keep all of the rental properties. You would need to purchase your spouse’s share of the houses so that you become the sole owner.
You may want to appraise each property before you begin the distribution process. This ensures that you divide your rentals based on the current value.