How Can I Ensure I Protect My Assets in the Event of a Divorce?
One of the most challenging parts of any divorce is the division of property, the negotiations for which often account for the bulk of the time it takes to settle the dissolution of a marriage. Who gets the vacation house? Who gets the primary residence? What happens to a hard-earned retirement fund?
The more marital assets there are, the more complex the division of property will be.
Having the right divorce attorney, one experienced in property division, can ensure an equitable division of possessions and assets, one that recognizes certain critical issues such as who has primary custody of children after the divorce, whether alimony payments have been assigned, and whether one spouse was previously married with other children to support, among other things.
An attorney is particularly valuable if a divorce is a contentious one, which might make it more difficult for a couple to determine how to fairly divide properties.
Maryland Is Not a 50-50 State
One thing to consider; unlike many states, Maryland is not a community property state, which requires couples to split marital assets down the middle. Instead, Maryland uses what is known as equitable distribution when splitting property as part of divorce proceedings.
Equitable division means that property is divided in a way that a court considers fair to each spouse, based on any property rights determined by a prenuptial agreement or certain obligations determined as part of the divorce.
How Is Property Divided?
Maryland law does take a wide range of issues into consideration, including monetary and non-monetary contributions made by each spouse over the course of a marriage, but it is not legally required to consider a spouse’s contributions to a partner’s education or earning capacity, which could have a significant impact on any final property split. Other Maryland considerations include:
- Under Maryland law, only property that was earned during the marriage is considered as part of property division when a marriage ends in divorce.
- Property that was acquired prior to the marriage is not considered marital property, and is not part of property division.
- Property division is considered legally binding, so failing to comply with the terms determined by a court can result in a contempt of court charge.
A consultation with a family law attorney can help you determine what legal options are available to you.
Are You in Search of a Property Division Attorney?
Contact the law office of Rowena Nelson, LLC. She and her team of skilled attorneys can help ensure the most equitable division of property and can be reached via email at [email protected] or by calling (301)-358-3271 for a consultation.
Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Rowena N. Nelson’s offices serve the entire state of Maryland.