Dividing property can be one of the more stressful and sensitive procedures of a divorce, as property that was shared gets broken up and split between both parties. In some cases, dividing the property can also be a complicated procedure, as different considerations factor into the distribution decisions. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a qualified and skilled property division lawyer if you are either considering divorce or are currently in the process of filing for divorce.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, have extensive experience and background in all manner of family law, helping couples throughout Clarksville to protect both their rights and their property during a divorce. It is likely that your former spouse will be securing a lawyer as well, making it particularly important that you secure our help to ensure that you will be placed in an optimal possible position post-divorce to provide you with the financial security you need.
During our free consultation, we can discuss the details of your case and assess your situation to advise you on what to expect going forward. Let our team help you through this difficult process so you can come out stronger than ever.
Unlike many other states, Maryland is not a community property state. This means that the court will assess all factors in a divorce case, such as marital and non-marital property, assets, and debt, before attributing what it deems is a just and fair distribution of equity.
Maryland operates on an equitable distribution of assets, as well, meaning the division of property will not necessarily be divided equally in half, but will consider other factors, such as individual contributions during the marriage and future earnings capacity.
Typically, all property acquired together during a marriage, whether or not it was purchased by one or both spouses, is considered marital property. Marital property is subject to division during a marriage. This includes:
Generally, all property acquired before a marriage remains the property of the individual unless it has been otherwise commingled with marital assets. Otherwise, so long as it remains separated, non-marital property is not subject to division during a marriage. This includes:
Commingling refers to separate property that has been mixed with marital property to the point of making it difficult to distinguish between the two. When assets have become so mixed that it a judge may be unable to separate the non-marital property from the marital property, they may instead choose to treat it all as marital property.
This can often happen when one spouse uses separate property, such as an amount from an inheritance, to invest in a shared property, such as a down payment on a home.
In a divorce, Maryland law will divide property according to equitable distribution. This means that, rather than splitting all assets equally in half, the court will consider all factors, such as marital and non-marital property, debts, and future earning potential, in order to discern and establish a fair and just distribution. Generally, shared property will be split, while separate property will remain that of the individual, and the court will consider the future financial situation of both spouses.
Current Maryland law does not require any individual to leave the house in a divorce. Couples seeking a divorce may choose to continue to live together in the same home if they wish. However, if a protective order has been issued, the court will temporarily mandate that one spouse vacate the home. In most cases, one spouse will buy the other spouse out of their equity in order to keep the home, particularly for those with primary child custody.
Dissipation of marital assets occurs when one spouse spends marital money in an improper or wasteful manner, generally during the breakdown of a marriage. Excessing spending, hiding money, gifting property, or otherwise squandering assets through gross financial mismanagement or in an extramarital relationship would constitute the dissipation of marital assets. If you suspect or discover evidence of dissipation, you will need to work closely with your attorney to keep track of funds and make a dissipation claim with the court.
All property owned before marriage is considered non-marital property, or separate property. This means it is not subject to division during a divorce. This includes property acquired before a marriage as well as property designated as separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If, however, the non-marital property is commingled with marital property, such as a home purchased before marriage that was invested in and paid off by both spouses during marriage, all or a portion may become shared.
Maryland’s property division laws are some of the most favorable in the country. However, which spouse ends up with the more favorable outcome will depend on your representation. Let one of our attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, review your case and fight for your fair share of the property. We will gather the proper evidence to support your case for the most favorable outcome. Contact us today to get started.
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