In this article, you will learn…
- How assets are split in Maryland.
- When a court will order individuals to sell property.
- How divorce affects retirement accounts.
- And more…
Will All Our Assets Be Split 50/50 In Maryland?
In Maryland, marital assets are not automatically split 50/50. Courts in Maryland look at the allocation of marital property through the principle of equitable distribution. In determining what is “equitable” for purposes of distributing marital property upon divorce, the Court will look at a number of different factors including the conduct of the parties during the marriage, circumstances contributing to the breakdown of the marriage and other related factors. In some cases, the Court may determine that a 50/50 split of the marital assets is equitable, but “equitable” does not always equate to 50/50.
Does Moving Out Of The Marital Home During The Divorce Mean That You’ve Given Up The Property?
No. The decision by one spouse to move out of the marital home does not itself constitute a waiver of that spouse’s marital claim to the home. There are a number of reasons why one spouse may elect to move out of the marital home and this is sometimes a necessary reality of going through the divorce process. Of course, the circumstances surrounding the decision to leave the marital home may be something the Court would consider in deciding how to equitably address the marital home upon divorce.
Will The Court Order Divorcing Spouses To Sell Their Marital Home?
The Court has judicial authority to order that the marital home be sold and proceeds split according to what the Court deems to be equitable. Whether or not the Court elects to exercise its authority to order the sale of the marital home depends on the facts of each case. Oftentimes, if the parties cannot agree on how to address the marital home, the Court will order that the marital home be sold and proceeds be split.
One way to avoid having the Court order the sale of the marital home is to come to an agreement with your spouse on how this marital asset will be addressed. For example, if one spouse wants to keep the marital home, the parties may agree that the spouse retaining the marital home will “buy out” the other spouse’s equity interest. In that case, the parties would determine the value of their equity in the marital home and the spouse who is keeping the marital home would need to compensate the other spouse for their equity interest in the marital home.
If The Marital Home Is Titled Under Only One Spouse’s Name, Does The Other Spouse Have A Legal Claim To It, Too?
If the marital home was acquired during the marriage and is in fact “marital property,” the non-titled spouse has a marital claim to the marital home. Marital property retains its status as such regardless of how such property is titled. As a result, such property would be subject to equitable distribution as part of the divorce even though only one spouse’s name appears on the title.
How Does The Court Split Up Retirement Accounts?
Generally speaking, any retirement assets accrued during the course of the marriage are marital property and subject to distribution upon divorce. In evaluating the marital share of a retirement account, it is important to look at when the retirement account was started relative to the date of marriage. If the retirement account was opened during the course of the marriage, the entirety of the retirement account is likely marital property. Conversely, if the retirement account was opened prior to the marriage, a portion or possibly even all of the funds contained in the retirement account may be non-marital and therefore not subject to a marital claim from the other spouse.
If Either Or Both Parties In A Divorce Own A Business, How Is It Handled?
Much like any other asset acquired during the course of the marriage, businesses are marital property. However, businesses can be a rather complex marital asset because it can be difficult to determine the value of the business. Even if both spouses have professional valuations performed of the business, there may be (and often is) disagreement about the correct value of the business. There are many other issues that each spouse must consider when addressing their business as part of their divorce. Despite their complexity, businesses can be marital assets much like any other asset acquired during the marriage and the business will still be considered a marital asset regardless of whether the business is titled in one or both spouse’s names.
For more information on Handling Financial Issues In A MD Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (410) 650-4242 today.