4 Kinds of Property Couples Split Up After Maryland Divorces
When a formerly married couple pursues divorce or annulment, they must go through the process of property division as well. During this process, the soon-to-be divorced couple decide how to split up various types of property that they acquired during their marriage. In common practice, there are generally four different kinds of property that couples divide after a Maryland divorce.
- Non-Marital Property
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201 defines what qualifies as non-marital property. Under this section, non-marital property refers to anything:
- Attained before the spouses got married;
- Received from a third party by inheritance or gift; or
- Excluded from the definition of marital property by a valid contract, such as a prenuptial agreement.
- Marital Property
Section 8-201 also establishes the Maryland definition of marital property. Under this section, marital property refers to:
- Property that one or both spouses acquired during their marriage, regardless of how such property is titled; and
- Interests in real property held by both spouses as tenants by the entirety.
As noted previously, however, married spouses are allowed to enter into valid contracts that can adjust the definition of marital property. Plus, marital property does not include items obtained before marriage or received via third-party gift or inheritance.
- Family Home
The definition of the family home also appears under Section 8-201. The family home refers to any property within Maryland borders that:
- The spouses utilized as their primary residence while married and living together;
- At least one spouse owns or leases the property at the time of divorce; and
- One spouse and a minor child intend to continue using the property as their principal residence.
Under Section 8-201, non-marital property cannot be considered the family home. So if the property in question was acquired before marriage, received by inheritance or gift, or excluded by valid contract, then it does not qualify as the family home.
- Family Use Personal Property
Section 8-201 also defines the term family use personal property. Under this section, the term family use personal property refers to tangible property that:
- The spouses obtained during their marriage;
- At least one spouse currently owns; and
- Is utilized principally for family purposes.
Furniture, fixtures, and furnishings are examples of family use personal property. Household appliances are included as well. Family use personal property can also include cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.
On the other hand, family use personal property does not include anything either spouse received via gift or inheritance from a third party. Furthermore, the spouses may execute a valid contract that excludes certain items from the definition of family use personal property.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with property division or other aspects of Maryland family law, it can be vastly effective to consult with a skilled Bel Air divorce attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including property division. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.