There are multiple reasons couples would consider divorce. But no matter what the ground is if you are faced with the situation and are thinking of divorcing your spouse, then there are numerous factors you should know. This includes gathering basic knowledge on divorce laws, what you need to anticipate and how to choose the best divorce lawyer in Baltimore, MD. We’ve previously addressed most of those subjects in earlier blogs, but now we will talk about how marital property division is done in Maryland. This is crucial to know because, despite the fact that Maryland is an equitable distribution state, divorce court judges don’t always divide marital properties equally. Let’s talk about this further below.
Let us first define what constitutes marital property in Maryland. Marital property is considered to be all properties that are acquired during the marriage regardless of who paid for it, with a few exceptions. Some examples of this include houses, furniture, bank accounts, cars, appliances, stocks, bonds, and the like. However, if the property was received by one spouse as a gift or an inheritance from a third party, then it is excluded from the general rule. Another exception is if the property is excluded by a valid agreement.
Such properties are known as non-marital properties. And just like exempted properties, any property that is obtained prior to the marriage is also known as non-marital property. Additionally, any property you have both acquired while living together prior to the marriage is still considered non-marital property. These properties are protected from the debts of the other spouse, and each one has the authority to dispose of such properties on their own. You can learn more about this by talking to your divorce lawyer in Baltimore, MD.
So How is Marital Property Division Done in Maryland?
If both parties can agree on how they want to divide their marital properties, then they will no longer need the assistance of the court. However, in cases where parties do not have an agreement, the decision falls to Maryland’s Marital Property Act which governs the division of property. Under this act, all marital properties will be subject to equitable distribution.
The court will consider several factors before deciding how to divide marital properties, and these include:
- The contribution of each spouse to the well-being of the family (both financially and otherwise)
- Each spouse’s economic circumstance
- The duration of the marriage
- When and how specific marital properties were acquired
- The physical and mental as well as age and health condition of each spouse.
- Whether either spouse has contributed their own separate property to property that both of them own as tenants by the entirety.
- Whether the court has awarded either party possession of the family home or alimony.
- All other factors that the court may consider as necessary to create a fair and equitable division of properties. (Md. Code Ann. Fam. Law 8-205 (b).)
This is a short and basic overview of how marital property division is done in Maryland. To get a full understanding of how it is done, book a consultation with Attorney Richard J. Hackerman, and he will tell you more about it. Attorney Richard J. Hackerman is an experienced divorce lawyer in Baltimore, MD with several practice areas.