Whether you and your spouse are only beginning to consider the option to divorce or have already finalized the decision, knowing your own rights to protect your property is vital for preserving your financial well-being and long-term security. Maryland’s property division laws are some of the most favorable in the country, provided you have strong representation that can ensure a just and fair distribution of your equity.
If you are considering divorce or are already in the process of filing, partner with an experienced and skilled Ellicott City property division lawyer today.
When it comes to protecting your rights in a divorce, our team has successfully represented individuals in family law across multiple legal issues, such as property division, divorce, child custody, and other related family disputes. Our attorneys offer thorough and comprehensive legal counsel that can ensure the rights to your property and non-marital assets will be fully considered and upheld.
For attentive and individualized care in Ellicott City, MD, partner with a member of our team. We can walk you through all the tedious and involved processes necessary to properly divide your property.
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, meaning that when a couple divorces, their property and assets are distributed in a manner that is fair when considering all circumstances. A judge will carry out this decision in court, though having strong representation will increase the likelihood of securing the most favorable outcome in your case.
It is important that you protect your financial security following a divorce, preparing for both the immediate and the long term. Here are a few examples of property commonly divided in Ellicott City:
Maryland is not a community property state, meaning that it does not consider all property to be marital property once a couple gets married. In fact, even some property gained while married remains non-marital property in many cases. Most often, the distinction is made based on the manner in which the property was acquired and when.
Marital property refers to property, assets, and debts acquired during the marriage that was shared by the couple. This type of property is subject to division in a divorce. This includes:
Each of these examples would be considered marital property regardless of which spouse made the purchase.
Non-marital property, also known as separate property, refers to property, assets, or debts typically acquired before the marriage but also includes gifts or inheritance meant only for one spouse. This type of property is not subject to division in a divorce. This includes:
While many instances of property distinction can be seemingly straightforward, the designation can often, in practice, be complex. Most often, this is because of property becoming commingled, meaning the asset in question has become indistinguishable from shared property. An inheritance, for example, that was put into paying off a mortgage of a shared home would likely become commingled with the home’s value and be difficult to separate from the marital property.
Inheritance received by a spouse during a marriage is not considered marital property in Maryland. Generally, property given as a gift or inheritance to an individual is the separate property of that spouse and is not subject to division during a divorce. It does not matter whether the property was received before or during the marriage. However, this separation can be more difficult to discern if the property has been commingled with other marital property.
Any property obtained prior to the marriage is considered non-marital property in Maryland, is exempt from division, and remains the property of the individual even after a divorce. However, if property has been commingled in any way, there may be a legitimate claim for a portion of the property. If, for instance, a non-owning spouse invests in the value of a home through investments, improvements, or significant maintenance, they may be entitled to a portion of the home’s appreciated value.
No. Maryland is not a community property state. Instead, courts consider all factors, such as marital property, non-marital property, and individual and collective debt, before assessing what they believe is a fair and equitable distribution of all property, even if it is not divided equally as a result. For instance, a judge may consider each spouse’s contributions, needs, and earnings. Consult with your property division lawyer with any questions you have on how this applies to your specific situation.
Maryland is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning the legal process does not require judges to equally divide property between the two spouses in a divorce. Rather, property division takes all details and circumstances into consideration to pursue a fair and just, though not necessarily equal, approach. This subjective approach can be complex and covers sensitive assets. It is, therefore, advisable that you partner with a skilled attorney to protect both your rights and your share of the equity.
Dividing marital and non-marital property can be one of the more tedious, stressful, and sensitive processes in a divorce. Our team at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, can help by providing comprehensive guidance and counsel from the start. Get started by reaching out for a free consultation to discuss the details of your divorce. Let us help ensure the protection of your property and secure your financial health as you move forward. Contact us today.
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