When you’re getting married, you typically don’t consider what will happen if you get divorced. When it happens, divorce can be life changing. One of the most confusing and often time-consuming parts of divorce is dividing property.
Each state uses different laws for deciding what is marital and non-marital property. Though every situation is different, here are the basics of how Maryland makes those determinations:
Marital property is all property obtained during the marriage. It does not matter who paid, just when. This typically includes houses, cars, appliances, jewelry, bank accounts, retirement plans, furniture, stocks and bonds.
Typically, marital property is split fairly between the two parties, as determined by a court or decided between the couple.
Non-marital or separate property
Any property bought or received before the legal marriage is non-marital property. However, it could be marital property if the title was changed to the name of the other spouse. This includes property obtained when a couple is living together, but not married yet.
There are exceptions to the rule, though. Property given to one spouse as a gift or through inheritance, even if it was during the marriage, is non-marital property. Debt is typically not considered marital property unless both party’s names are related to it. You usually won’t be responsible for you spouse’s personal credit card, but problems with a joint bank account could fall on both of you.
While these general laws apply to divorces in Maryland, every situation is unique. You will need to consult an experienced divorce attorney to understand what these laws will mean for your divorce.