What Factors Influence Property Division In Maryland?
Many divorces involve the distribution of marital property.
To ensure these assets are distributed in an equal manner, the state of Maryland relies on a process known as “property division.”
Property division is a process that allows for marital property to be divided in an equitable manner. Only property that is considered “marital property” can be divided, when a divorce occurs.
What Is Marital Property?
Marital property is a term that refers to the various properties/types of property two married spouses acquired throughout the duration of their marriage. Some examples of marital property are as follows:
- Real Estate
Every single one of the above is considered marital property if it was acquired by either spouse during their marriage. Outside of these tangible assets, though, there are other, less-tangible, forms of marital property. Some examples of intangible marital property are as follows:
- Pension Plans
As with tangible marital property, these intangible assets are also subject to the property division process.
Other assets that were acquired before the marriage are considered non-marital property. Some examples of non-marital property are as follows:
- Stocks/bonds that are kept in a non-comingled account.
- A television that was purchased before the marriage.
- Savings that are kept in a non-comingled account.
- A couch that was purchased before the marriage.
- Assets that were defined, in a prenuptial agreement, as non-marital assets
Each one of the assets outlined above is not subject to the property division process, as it is considered non-marital property.
How Does Maryland Divide Property?
To conduct the property division process, the state of Maryland relies on equitable distribution. Equitable distribution is a form of distribution that prioritizes a fair distribution of property, based on an assortment of factors, over a completely equal distribution of property.
Some of the factors that affect property division and, in turn, the way equitable distribution is conducted, are as follows:
- The amount of money each spouse earns.
- The current age of each spouse.
- The current health-status of each spouse.
- The amount of money each spouse contributed to the accumulation of marital property.
- The amount of time and energy each spouse has contributed to their marital household.
Each one of these factors is used to determine which spouse will receive which marital property. Many of these factors will also be assessed in conjunction with claims of adultery and abuse, among others, to determine which spouse is entitled to which marital property.
Right after the property division process is complete, each spouse will have received an equitable distribution of marital property. The terms of this division may not be completely equal, but they will be equitable, relative to each spouse’s contribution to the marriage.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with property division in Maryland, it can be greatly beneficial to contact a trusted Bel Air property division lawyer. The lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law, including violent crimes. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.