Addressing dishonesty in marriage when divorcing

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Divorce

Discovering dishonesty about the reasons behind your spouse’s decision to marry you can be a hard pill to swallow. You might wonder if this dishonesty can influence the division of marital assets. The question is, can you refuse to give your spouse anything in a divorce if you can prove they lied about why they married you?

Dishonesty about the reasons for marriage may impact asset division in a Massachusetts divorce. Understanding the laws and court procedures can give you a clearer picture of what you may expect in this situation.

Proving dishonesty and its influence on asset division

Proving your spouse lied about the reasons for marrying you may be a complex task. Even if you can substantiate your claim, Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court divides marital property fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses during a divorce.

While the courts consider several factors when dividing assets, including each spouse’s conduct during the marriage, the court does not typically place a significant emphasis on marital misconduct when distributing assets. Therefore, proving dishonesty about the reasons for marriage may not dramatically affect asset division.

Fault vs. no-fault divorce

In Massachusetts, you can file for either a no-fault or fault-based divorce. If you choose to file a fault-based divorce, citing fraudulent marriage as the grounds, you must provide substantial evidence of this fraud. However, even in fault-based divorces, the primary aim is to achieve a fair distribution of assets.

Opting for a fault-based divorce may prolong the divorce process and increase the emotional and financial burden of the proceedings.

The court’s final decision

The court has the final decision on how to divide marital assets in a Massachusetts divorce. While each spouse’s conduct can play a role in this decision, the main goal is to achieve an equitable distribution.

Proving that your spouse lied about their reasons for marriage may not change how assets are distributed in the divorce. The focus of the Massachusetts court system in a divorce is to ensure a fair distribution of marital assets, regardless of marital misconduct.