Question: My husband and I have separated and are talking about getting the divorce process started. Both of us were older when we were married and already had 401k's and other retirement savings. I also received 10K from my grandmother's estate recently, which I have in a separate bank account. Lastly, we have purchased quite a bit of stocks and bonds over the years--we used my ex's inheritance to purchase many of them, though they are in both our names.
Answer: It's important that you start your new life on a firm financial footing. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts uses the legal doctrine of "equitable division." In addition, Massachusetts recognizes that all property of the parties, whether individually or jointly owned, is subject to division in a divorce. Let's look at how those apply to you.