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.
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.
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.