A beautiful summer day at Gramercy Mansion. The bride resplendent in her white dress. The groom a dignified figure waiting at the altar. There are weeping parents, giddy children, dinner and cake and dancing. The photographer shoots 1,000 images, closing as the bride and groom escape to the Caribbean to start their lives together.
That’s the fairytale. Sadly, not every tale ends with happily ever after.
In Maryland, fewer than 10 percent of those fairytales end in divorce – it’s a low number for the U.S., but still a significant one. According to the People’s Law Library of Maryland, there are two kinds of property: marital and non-marital. Marital property includes just about everything acquired by a spouse during a marriage including real estate, stocks, bonds, jewelry and furniture. Non-marital property is what a person owned prior to a marriage.
One exception is property inherited during the marriage. Another exception is a gift received from a third party during the marriage (so long as the gift was not intended for both spouses).
Even if your name is added to a deed for a piece of inherited property, it does not necessarily mean you automatically get half the value. First, the court would have to determine if your spouse meant to give you 50 percent interest in the property when he or she added your name to the title. If not, the court must next determine if any marital property or any of your separate property helped improve or pay for that inherited property. If that is the case, you might still be entitled to a percentage of the current property value.
Finally, it’s interesting to note an engagement ring is not considered marital property under Maryland law – it was acquired prior to the marriage. If you are in need of any assistance or have any questions about a divorce, contact Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC at (443) 589-0150. Our Baltimore County divorce lawyers are well versed in all matters pertaining to divorce including property division.