No spouse wants to lose their house or virtually any other asset in a divorce, but, unfortunately, that’s part of the harsh reality of divorce. If you’re getting divorced without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, there’s a very good chance your hard-earned assets may be on the line. Continue reading and contact a Baltimore, Maryland property distribution lawyer from Sheri Hoidra Law Office, LLC today to learn more about property distribution and how our firm can help you through the process.
Baltimore, Maryland Lawyer | Guiding Divorcing Clients through the Property Distribution Process
Our goal is to protect what’s yours. Though there’s no guarantee you’ll keep everything, a competent Baltimore, Maryland family law attorney in your corner goes a long way. Our firm is on your side, and we will fight for you.
How Courts Distribute Assets in a Divorce
In Maryland, divorcing spouses will go through a process known as equitable distribution. In this process, courts will first determine what property is marital property and what property is considered separate property. Marital property refers to property that belongs to both spouses, while separate property refers to property that only belongs to one spouse. Separate property includes inheritances or gifts given to a person from third-parties, and is typically exempt from equitable distribution. Marital property, on the other hand, is subject to equitable distribution. Typically, marital property includes assets such as real estate, vehicles, retirement plans, jointly-held bank accounts, and more.
Though the word “equitable” slightly resembles the word “equal,” it’s worth noting that it doesn’t automatically warrant a 50/50 split of assets. In many cases, “equitable” implies what the courts determine to be a fair and just distribution of assets. During equitable distribution, courts will consider many factors when determining which spouse is entitled to which assets. Some of those factors are as follows:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial situation
- The extent to which both spouses contribute to the marriage (this includes monetarily and non-monetarily)
- The means by which certain assets were acquired
- The age & health of both spouses
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Protecting Your Property from a Divorce
Rather obviously, married couples have a lot at stake when it comes to divorce. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your property from equitable distribution. Couples who aren’t yet married can draft prenuptial agreements, which essentially dictate which property belongs to which spouse, and can even outline a potential alimony agreement, should the couple get divorced in the future. Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose, but they are exclusively drafted after marriage.
If you are getting divorced and have not drafted either a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, a competent and aggressive Baltimore, Maryland property distribution lawyer is your best line of defense.
Contact Our Baltimore, Maryland Firm Today
Are your hard-earned assets at stake? Don’t make the mistake of hiring just any law firm to represent you at this critical time. Contact Sheri Hoidra Law Office, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation with our experienced legal team. We are here to listen to your goals and fight for the best outcome possible on your behalf.