Close Menu
Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer
Call for Consultation 410-838-0004

How Does Maryland Define Family and Marital Property?

DivorcePaper

In order to establish clear guidelines for property division during a divorce, Maryland employs several definitions for family and marital property. As highlighted in Code of Maryland 8-201, there are three types of property that are important during the divorce process — family home, family use personal property and marital property.

Before progressing any further, it is vital to note that certain family property relates to children. Therefore, it will be beneficial to review the legal definition of a child in Maryland. For the purposes of family law, there are two definitions of a child. A child can be a minor under the age of 18 years old, or a child can be an adult over the age of 18 years old who is afflicted with a mental or physical disability and is determined by the court to be an “adult disabled child.”

Moving past the general definition of a child, the next section will address the guidelines for a “family home” under Maryland family law.

Family Home

The definition of family home in Section 8-201 includes property within the boundaries of Maryland that:

  • Was the primary domicile of the former spouses when they were together;
  • Remains under ownership or lease control by either spouse; and
  • Will continue to serve as the primary domicile of either spouse and their children, if applicable.

The term family home does not include property that was:

  • Purchased or acquired before the marriage;
  • Received as a gift or inheritance from someone else; or
  • Excluded by a valid contract, such as a prenuptial agreement.

Switching gears from the concept of a family home, the next section will define the term “family use personal property” in Maryland family law.

Family Use Personal Property

The definition of family use personal property in Section 8-201 includes property that was:

  • Purchased or acquired during the marriage;
  • Owned by one or both spouses; and
  • Utilized mostly for family reasons, including child care.

Generally speaking, family use personal property includes:

  • Cars, trucks and other vehicles;
  • Chairs, tables, couches and other furniture;
  • Removable fixtures and other furnishings; and
  • Kitchen equipment, washer, dryer and other appliances.

On the other hand, family use personal property does not include property that was:

  • Received as a gift or inheritance from someone else; or
  • Excluded by a valid contract, such as a postnuptial agreement.

Changing topics from family property, the next section will address the guidelines for “marital property” in Maryland family law.

Marital Property

The definition of marital property in Section 8-201 includes any property that the spouses acquired during their marriage. Marital property can include an interest in real property, if applicable.

The term marital property does not include property that was:

  • Purchased or acquired before the marriage;
  • Received as a gift or inheritance from someone else; or
  • Excluded by a valid contract, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are considering a divorce and need help with defining your family and marital property in Maryland, it can be particularly worthwhile to reach out to a proficient family law attorney. With more than 55 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have proven experience helping clients with divorce, property division and related considerations. If you need legal help, contact us for an initial consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus

© 2017 - 2018 Schlaich & Thompson Chartered. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab