Can an asset be sold to pay your divorce lawyer?

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Can an asset be sold to pay your divorce lawyer?

My wife filed for divorce, I have not received papers yet. I possess a boat that was purchased during our marriage via MY 401k which has been paid for solely by me. Can I sell it to get money for a lawyer as long as I pay her half?

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You really seem like a fair kind of guy here. And although you state here that you will give her half o the money, I would hesitate to sell the asset with out her consent.  If she consents and you split it, no problem.  But otherwise it is considered to be dissipating a marital asset.  Let's say that she says you sold it for less than it was worth just to get the cash or to cheat her out of the money.  Now, whether or not that the boat is a marital asset remains to be seen.  Was it purchased with 401L money that was accumulated during the marriage? Then they are marital funds becuase they were earned during the marriage.  Your pay check is not your own once you get married. I would ask her to sign a consent or find another way.  Good luck.  


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