Divorce is never a pleasant undertaking. Now that you and your husband have decided to end your marriage, you know you may face a battle for a fair settlement as well as custody of the children. In order to protect your interests, it is important to understand how marital property laws work in Maryland.
Receiving a fair divorce settlement could make a major difference during the time that you are transitioning from a two-income household to having to support yourself on a single income. Your best source of advice for your divorce is a local Maryland attorney.
Marital property in Maryland
In general, states consider marital property to be all of the possessions and interest you and your husband acquired after your marriage. Unlike other states that follow the laws of community property, Maryland has more flexibility when it comes to property division. Unfortunately, the increased flexibility also comes with more uncertainty.
If you and your husband cannot agree on a fair divorce settlement out of court, a judge will make decisions for you concerning the division of property. The court might decide to split all of your marital property, so that each you gets about half. However, the court may instead decide that an unequal split is more in the spirit of fairness.
The court’s decision will hinge on factors such as your earning potential versus his, which of you has custody of the children, and how each of you contributed to the marriage. The court may also look at the length of your marriage and whether there are any special needs, such as lifelong medical care of assistance, required by either you or the children.
There may be some property that you own that the court will not include in the marital property. For example, property that you owned prior to the marriage is usually not subject to division. Any gifts or inheritances you received are also separate from marital property and will remain yours after your divorce. Pension proceeds and property acquired through other separate property, such as inheritance money, are also separate property. However, if it is too difficult for the court to differentiate between separate and marital property, your property could lose its separate status.
Since divorce laws are often complex and subject to change, it is important that you seek legal assistance for your divorce. Take the necessary steps to protect your interests and get the divorce settlement that you deserve.