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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

The Family Home & Family Use Personal Property in Maryland


When a married couple decides to pursue a divorce in Maryland, they must settle on how to deal with property division. The soon-to-be former spouses must either agree on a fair split or allow a Maryland court to carve up everything. Either way, there must be a final answer as to property division before a court will finalize the divorce.

In the process of dividing marital assets, there are special rules and protections in place for the family home and any family use personal property. These types of property have a direct impact on the family unit, making the award of possession and use extremely important.

Family Home

The definition of the family home emerges in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201. Under the law, the term family home refers to a property in Maryland that:

  • Both spouses lived in together as their primary residence during the marriage;
  • Either spouse owns or leases at the time of the divorce; and
  • A spouse and a child will continue to use as their primary residence after the divorce.

Family Use Personal Property

The definition of family use personal property also surfaces in Section 8-201. Under Maryland law, the term family use personal property refers to anything tangible that is used primarily for family purposes. Though family use personal property only applies to property acquired during the marriage. Examples of family use personal property include:

  • Cars, trucks and motor vehicles;
  • Furniture and furnishings; and
  • Household appliances and electronics.

Possession and Use of Family Property

The rules concerning possession and use of the family home and any family use personal property appear in Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-208. When granting a divorce, a Maryland court may either:

  • Award sole possession and use of the family home and any family use personal property to either spouse; or
  • Split the family home and any family use personal property between the spouses.

In determining how to address possession and use, the Maryland courts must consider a number of factors, including:

  • Children’s Interests — The court must consider the best interests of the children in awarding possession and use of family property;
  • Residential Dwelling — The court must consider the need of either spouse to possess and use family property for residential dwelling purposes;
  • Income Production — The court must consider how possession and use of family property would affect either spouse’s ability to produce income; and
  • Undue Hardship — The court must consider whether any party would suffer undue hardship by awarding possession and use of family property.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you need legal help with the family home or family use personal property during a Maryland divorce, it can be exceedingly worthwhile to consult with an adept family law attorney. Based in Bel Air, Maryland, the attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including the family home and family use property. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

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