Some of the most common questions divorcing or separating couples have relate to the distribution of marital assets. The term marital assets can cover a wide variety of personal property, real estate and business holdings. Understanding what items will be included in the marital estate as marital assets is an important part in planning for any divorce or separation. Evaluating and resolving marital property issues can very complex, and you are aided by the use of an attorney experienced in these matters.
Marital assets include any property acquired by either spouse during the length of the marriage, regardless of how it is titled or whose activities generated the acquisition of the property. Property acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance is not a marital asset. Real property includes family primary residences, vacation homes and undeveloped land. When the real property owned by one party prior to the marriage is transferred to joint ownership (ownership in the names of both parties) that property will become a jointly owned asset in which both spouses have a legal interest. This often happens in cases of home refinancing.
Investments including pensions and retirement accounts are another type of marital asset. Courts will look at the amount of money accumulated in the account during the course of the marriage in determining what portion of the pension, 401k or other retirement account is a marital asset.
Business assets may also be a part of the marital estate. If a closely held business is started, or has increased in value, during the course of the marriage, that business asset may also become a marital asset.
Other common types of marital assets are bank accounts, securities, stocks, bonds, insurance proceeds, jewelry, vehicles and personal property (including gifts between spouses.)
Under Maryland law, property division in divorce is based on the principle of equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution laws, the emphasis is on a fair division of the marital property. This does not mean that each marital asset will be divided equally or on a 50/50 basis, but rather that the final property settlement is fair to both parties given the unique circumstances of each divorce matter.
Experienced Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers handle Family Law Matters for Individuals throughout Maryland
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our dedicated Baltimore County divorce lawyers in Hunt Valley understand that the divorce and separation process can be extremely stressful to all involved parties. With sensitivity and professionalism, our attorneys work with divorcing and separating individuals to help them with issues relating to property distribution, child support, alimony, child custody and visitation. Our family law offices are conveniently located in Hunt Valley, Maryland to serve residents throughout the greater Baltimore area. To schedule your free confidential consultation today, call the experienced Hunt Valley divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC at (443) 589-0150 or submit an online inquiry form.