Bel Air Property Division Lawyer
Divorce is more common than you may think. After all, the probability that a first marriage will last more than 10 years is just one in 15, or 6.6 percent. But even a marriage that lasts just a few years is likely to accumulate numerous possessions, bank accounts, 401-K earnings, automobiles, and even real estate. The longer the marriage, the more intertwined the couple’s property becomes. Debt works the same way, in fact. It can be quite complex dividing property after any length of marriage, and in order to ensure a fair deal for yourself, you must work with a Bel Air and Columbia property division attorney. The attorneys at the law offices of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered are available today to help.
What is Marital Property?
When the decision is left to the courts, a judge will make their decision based on what is fair, not what is equal. As such, Maryland is known as an equitable distribution state. Marital property is divided on a variety of factors, which will be outlined below. But what is marital property? Marital property is as follows:
- Everything that was earned or acquired during the duration of the marriage, all the way until divorce is finalized;
- Debt accumulated during the marriage;
- Gifts given to the couple unless explicitly gifted to one of the spouses;
- Retirement funds, pensions, bank accounts, cars, furniture, real property, and virtually everything else accumulated during the marriage.
This leaves very little room for what is not considered marital property. Each individual spouse owns their own non-marital property, which is not divided during divorce. Non-marital property includes the following, although the list is not exclusive:
- Settlement and lawsuit awards earned by one of the spouses;
- Gifts and inheritance specifically given to one of the spouses.
Dividing Property in Maryland Depends on the Following Criteria
As stated earlier, marital property is not divided evenly; it is divided fairly, or as fairly as can be. Maryland courts look at all of the following information when they are put in charge of making a decision on a property division hearing:
- The length of the marriage;
- Marital misconduct that caused the divorce;
- The existence of alimony award;
- Time and specifics of how certain property was acquired;
- Financial contributions that each spouse made to the marriage;
- Non-financial contributions each spouse made, such as being a homemaker, supporting the other spouse’s career, or raising children;
- Financial situation of each spouse;
- Financial and nonfinancial contributions one spouse made to the other’s career;
- Physical and mental health of each spouse;
- Age of each spouse; and
- Any other relevant information.
Contact Us Today for Help
Property division is never as straightforward as you may think. The other spouse may be hiding assets or may demand more than their fair share. Protect your assets and your future. Contact the property division attorneys of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered today for assistance with your case.