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Who Gets to Keep the Family Home & Family Property After a Maryland Divorce?

DivHouse

It is policy in the State of Maryland to enable children to remain in familiar environments and communities, even if the parents go through a divorce. Consequently, the property division process during a divorce takes into consideration the best interests of any children involved. This is particularly true when it comes to awarding possession of the family home and family property.

Family Home

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-201 details the definition of the family home appears. Under this section, the term family home refers to any property in Maryland that:

  • Both spouses used as their principal residence during marriage;
  • Either spouse owns or leases during and after divorce; and
  • A child and either spouse will use as their principal residence after divorce.

The term family home does not apply to any property that was:

  • Obtained before marriage;
  • Acquired as a gift or inheritance; or
  • Excluded by validly executed contract.

Family Property

Section 8-201 also provides the definition of family property. Referred to legally as family use personal property, this term includes anything:

  • Obtained during marriage;
  • Owned by either or both spouses; and
  • Employed principally for family use.

The term family use personal property includes:

  • Furniture;
  • Furnishings;
  • Household appliances; and
  • Motor vehicles.

The term family use personal property does not apply to anything that was:

  • Acquired as a gift or inheritance; or
  • Excluded by validly executed contract.

Possession & Use

Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-208 outlines the rules for awarding possession and use of the family home and any family property. When granting an annulment or divorce, the Maryland courts may:

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

It is important to note that the Maryland courts may also award possession and use during the divorce process. Referred to as pendente lite, these powers only last until resolution of divorce proceedings.

Necessary Considerations

Section 8-208 also establishes certain necessary considerations for awarding possession and use. Before awarding possession and use of the family home or any family property, the Maryland courts must consider the:

  • Best interests of any children involved;
  • Interests of either spouse in continuing to use the family home or any family property for residential or commercial purposes; and
  • Hardship, if any, imposed by awarding possession and use of the family home and any family property.

Financial Obligations

Section 8-208 further establishes the rules for allocating any financial obligations related to the family home or any family property. Under this section, the Maryland courts may require either or both spouses to pay for the mortgage or other costs associated with the property.

Let Us Help You Today

If you need legal help with property division during a Maryland divorce, it can be immensely beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney. The Bel Air divorce attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including property division. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.

https://www.stclaw.net/comparing-limited-absolute-divorces-under-maryland-family-law/

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