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How Does Maryland Address Family Property Division After Divorce?

DivHouse

When a married couple decides to pursue a divorce in Maryland, there are countless factors to evaluate, including property division. The process of dividing property in a mutually agreeable fashion can be difficult for many parties to a divorce. This is particularly true regarding family property, including the family home and family use personal property.

 

What is the Definition of the Family Home?

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201 defines the meaning of the family home. Under this section, the family home refers to a property within Maryland that:

  • Both parties utilized as their primary residence while married and living together;
  • Either party owns or leases at the time of filing for divorce; and
  • One party and a child will utilize as their primary residence after divorce.

The family home does not include property that was:

  • Obtained before the parties got married;
  • Received directly as inheritance or a gift; or
  • Omitted from the definition of the family home through a valid contract.

What is the Definition of Family Use Personal Property?

Section 8-201 also establishes the definition of family use personal property. Under this section, this term includes any property that:

  • Either party obtained during the marriage;
  • Either party or both parties currently own the property; and
  • The property is utilized principally for family use.

Examples of family use personal property can include motor vehicles, appliances, furnishings, and similar property. Though family use personal property does not include any property that was:

  • Received directly as inheritance or a gift; or
  • Omitted from the definition of the family home through a valid contract.

What is the State Policy Regarding Family Property?

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201 provides the state policy regarding family property, including the family home and family use personal property. Under this section, the Maryland courts must attempt to:

  • Enable any child involved to continue living in a familiar environment and community; and
  • Allow the party with custody of the child to occupy the family home and possess family use personal property.

How is Possession & Use of Family Property Awarded?

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201 clarifies the award process for possession and use of family property. When granting a divorce, the Maryland courts may:

  • Award sole possession and use to either party; or
  • Divide possession and use between both parties.

When awarding possession and use of the family home or family use personal property, the Maryland courts must:

  • Consider the best interests of any children involved;
  • Assess each party’s interest in continuing to use family property for residential or commercial purposes; and
  • Evaluate the hardship either party will suffer without possession or use of family property, if any.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you need legal assistance with property division or similar respects of Maryland family law, it is important to contact a Bel Air divorce lawyer. The team at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered is prepared to assist you throughout each step of your case. Contact us today for help.

https://www.stclaw.net/does-maryland-family-law-allow-children-to-request-custody-changes/

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