Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland Marital Property Division Lawyers Assisting Clients Facing a Marital Property Dispute
Figuring out what will happen to everything that you have bought or accumulated during a marriage – from personal items to real estate, vehicles, investment accounts, and more – can be a nerve-wracking, emotionally-charged process. Our firm has assisted many clients in Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland and the vicinity through the process of dividing their marital assets during a divorce. Here are a few important answers to common questions we receive every day.
What Is Considered Marital Property in Maryland?
In Maryland, property acquired by you or your spouse during the time you were married is generally considered marital property. That may include real property such as the family home, vehicles, jewelry, furniture, and other physical assets, and also includes financial assets such as joint bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds, and the like.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Anything that you or your spouse received through an inheritance or gift from someone else is likely excluded from marital property. The same goes for assets directly traceable to an inheritance or gift – for example, if your spouse inherits some money from his late uncle and uses the money to buy a car, the car may still be considered separate property. It is interesting to mention that an engagement ring – in most cases – is not considered marital property, as it is usually a gift one spouse buys for the other spouse before they are married.
How Is Marital Property Divided After a Divorce?
Unlike other states, Maryland does not follow a community property (or 50/50) rule for the division of marital property. Instead, property is divided between the spouses following the equitable distribution principle. This means that each person does not necessarily get “half of everything”, but will be given a share of the marital property based on what the court considers to be a fair and equitable division. Ultimately, the assets are divided based on several factors to determine what is fair, which may also result in monetary payments when a particular real asset (such as a car) cannot be practically divided between spouses.
Will I Have to Pay My Spouse’s Credit Card Debt?
Many clients worry about whether they will end up having to pay for a share or all of their ex’s credit card debt or other types of debt. The answer is, it depends. A court will not usually order one spouse to pay for the credit card debt of the other spouse when the debt was solely incurred by the other person, especially if the debt was first incurred before the marriage.
However, in some situations, credit cards that were used to pay for family expenses and cards issued to both the husband and wife may be considered marital debt by the court and – just like marital property – may end up being equally divided. The court may also analyze other types of debt such as mortgages, student loans, and other loans and decide whether they constitute as marital debt or not. It may be a good idea to consult an attorney to better understand your particular situation.
How Can a Marital Property Attorney Help?
Evaluating what constitutes marital and separate property may be difficult and confusing at times. At Paré & Associates, LLC, our attorneys can assist you by conducting a thorough analysis of your assets and debts to help you determine what is marital property and what is separate property. We can also help you understand how marital property may end up being divided after a divorce, and what steps you may want to take to further protect any non-marital property during your divorce.
Our office regularly assists clients going through marital property disputes in Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland and surrounding areas, and we know it can be a draining and often confusing process. By relying on the help of a skilled marital property division attorney like the ones at Paré & Associates, LLC, you will be better prepared to protect your interests and receive fair treatment in court. We can assist you with all matters related to marital property division, marital debts, and more. Call Paré & Associates, LLC today at (301) 962-2492 to schedule a free consultation.