In Massachusetts, married couples typically take real property as tenants by the entirety. This form of tenancy offers protection from creditors that a simple joint tenancy with rights of survivorship does not. The creditors of one spouse cannot attach or attempt to sell property held by a married couple who took the property as tenants by the entirety. With a tenancy by the entirety, one spouse may not convey his or her interest to a third party. The tenancy by entirety is only terminated by divorce, death, or by an agreement between the spouses to convert the tenancy to a tenancy in common.
Upon divorce the tenancy by the entirety is automatically converted by operation of law into a tenancy in common. A tenancy in common is way two or more people can own property together, in unequal shares. Each has an undivided interest in the property, an equal right to use the property, and the right to leave his or her interest upon death to chosen beneficiaries.
Contact the Law Offices of Renee Laar either by email or telephone 978-844-4095 should you be contemplating divorce or in the midst of a divorce.