Rockville Maryland Marital Property Lawyers
Asset Division Attorneys Silver Spring MD
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
The process of dividing marital property between two divorcing spouses is often plagued by conflict and contention. Although there are never clear "winners" in divorce, asset division is one area of the law where it's at least easy to "keep score."
Sometimes, the things you think you want out of your divorce settlement may not be what makes you happiest several years down the road. At Avery & Upton, we consider your entire well-being and help you choose the best strategy from among a full spectrum of dispute resolution options.
What Counts as Marital Property?
In Maryland, any asset that has been acquired during the course of the marriage is considered "marital property" (except gifts, inheritance and assets excluded by agreement). This can include houses, cars, pension, 401(k) plans, military pensions, Thrift Saving Plan (TSP), and any savings built up during the course of the marriage.
Maryland does not count debt as marital property. So, for example, if a credit card in one spouse's name has $10,000 of debt on it, that spouse will be responsible for the entire debt even if the other spouse is the one who racked up the bill.
How Does Equitable Distribution Work?
Maryland is an "equitable distribution" state, which means that if the parties don’t come to an agreement, the judge will decide how much of the marital property either spouse will receive. Most often, marital property is divided evenly between the couple, 50/50. Exceptions can be made in certain examples:
- If the marriage didn't last long, the judge may send each spouse away with as much as he or she brought into the marriage.
- If one person has a serious addiction (like drugs or gambling) and squanders much of the marital property, the judge may not split the remaining property evenly.
- Practical considerations are often taken into account for couples at the very high and the very low end of the income ladder.
Resolving Disputes Over Asset Division
There are many ways to come to an agreement on which spouse will receive which assets. At Avery & Upton, we can help you choose from a wide selection of dispute resolution methods ranging from litigation to an informal handshake agreement.
To schedule an appointment with a lawyer at Avery & Upton, call us at 301-576-0950 or toll free at 1-866-919-9723, or just contact us online.