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Can I modify a property distribution after divorce?

You’ve gotten a divorce and both you and your ex-spouse walked away with a division of property.  Now, for whatever reason, you want to modify that agreement to get more of the marital assets.  Can you do it?  It depends.

For the most part, the answer is no.  A property division is final and cannot be modified except if there was mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence or fraud.  This is all pursuant to Massachusetts Domestic Relations Procedure Rule 60.  In order to win a modification on a Rule 60 motion, you need to show that there was one of those things listed in the rule.  Most of the time it will be newly discovered evidence such as that the stock options were actually worth more than what was listed originally or fraud.  Fraud would be that you discover and can prove that your spouse hid money or he lied about his financials.

Rule 60 motions are very hard to win and so for the most part, a Complaint for Modification will not work on a property division in Massachusetts.

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