DC and Maryland Marital Asset Division Attorney

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marital assets division

When beginning the process of dividing marital assets during a divorce, it is easy to become confused on what is or is not marital property under the law. Many spouses faced with the task of reporting their property to the court may not realize that DC and Maryland are equitable distribution states, and much of what they brought to the marriage may no longer belong to them exclusively anymore.

Before you attempt to navigate the complex legal nuances of dividing up your marital assets, consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney at The Law Office of Thomas Stahl first. With over 13 years of practice experience helping families find an amicable divorce solution, we are here to help answer any questions you might have about your divorce and its impact on your assets.

Understanding the Difference Between Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property

Both DC and Maryland are equitable distribution states. Knowing which of your assets fall under this category is critical during this phase of your divorce.

Marital Property

Assets that you or your spouse acquire during your marriage either separately or together and are subject to division under state law.

Non-marital Property

Assets in this category are not subject to division under Maryland law and would have been acquired by you or your spouse:
  • Before getting married
  • Inherited or gifted to you by a third party
  • Is excluded in a pre-or postnuptial contract from asset division
  • Can be traced to any of these listed sources
Some additional circumstances where a non-marital asset could still be part of the division process, especially when family businesses are at issue. Typically, a company started before the marriage will not be divisible, but the debt and/or profits earned during the marriage could be. This stage of a divorce can potentially leave you financially devastated. It is vital that you have a highly skilled attorney from The Law Office of Thomas Stahl to determine what assets may be subject to division.

DC and Maryland are Equitable Distribution Divorce States

As an equitable distribution state, Maryland family court judges often take a simplified 50-50 approach when dividing assets between a divorcing couple. It is important to note that equitable does not mean you will receive an even split down the middle. In some situations, you may not want an equal share, especially in cases where an ex-spouse caused the majority of your marital debt.

Another situation that can arise that may require the judge to deviate from an equal division of property involves individually titled assets, like a bank account. Judges are prohibited from changing a title to property which means if your spouse kept the family bank account in their name only, this asset would remain their own, even if both of you contributed to it with marital funds.

To resolve this inequitable situation, the court may issue you a monetary award. These judgments help address such inequalities that may arise in the asset division stage of divorce and comes with all the enforcement options as any other court-ordered judgment. If you received such a decision, but your spouse refuses to pay, you must seek out the divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Thomas Stahl right away to resolve the matter quickly.

Is My Retirement Account Subject to Marital Asset Division?

Retirement accounts are one titled property during a Maryland divorce that can be subject to asset division. Usually, retirement assets like a pension are divided according to a base formula the court uses to determine the fractional share of the account benefit a spouse will receive. This monthly payment would not kick in until after the spouse who owns the pension retires.

Accounts with a defined contribution, like a 401(k), have a value assigned at the time of your divorce and will get divided accordingly.

Protect Your Fair Share During Your Divorce

The divorce attorneys of The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl work with clients to protect their assets when going through dissolution. Ensuring you receive a fair division of property you acquired during your marriage is critical when starting this new chapter in your life. As longtime family law counsel, we have helped thousands of families in our community to achieve a fair division of hard-earned assets and property earned during their marriages. To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, call us directly at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280, or complete our online contact form to get started.

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