Baltimore County Family Lawyer Discusses Equitable Distribution and Engament Rings.
Under Maryland law, marital property is all property that was attained during the marriage (with a few exceptions). Such items that are typically viewed as marital property include cars, homes, appliances, furnishings, jewels, bank accounts and many other things. However, it is not uncommon for a Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer to be asked about the status of an engagement ring and whether or not it can be deemed marital property.
In general, engagement rings are not considered marital property under Maryland law. This is because engagement rings are given to an individual before the marriage takes place; therefore, they are considered gifts by one person to another in anticipating of marriage. That said, if a couple ends up divorcing, the engagement ring is usually excluded from the division of marital property. However, the wedding ring will be treated differently under the law.
More specifically, engagement rings are known as "conditional" gifts. What that means, generally, is that if an individual gives someone an engagement ring and for some reason the couple never marries, the purchaser of the ring would be entitled to get the ring back because the "condition" of marriage was never met or fulfilled.
Marital vs. Non-Marital Property
As noted above, any and all property acquired throughout the marriage is considered marital property, no matter who actually bought and paid for the item. The exception to this general rule concerns property that an individual receives as a gift or inheritance from a third party. Non-marital property includes any property that was obtained before the marriage, so long as it is not given or titled to the other spouse.
Property That is Deemed Both Marital and Non-Marital
As your Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer knows, there are some assets that can be considered both marital and non-marital property. For example, with respect to a home, if it was bought prior to the marriage, it is not considered marital property. But when the couple expends marital funds to make the mortgage payments, the house then becomes both marital and non-marital property.
The Concept of Family Use Personal Property
Along with the concept of marital property, there's also a category of property known as "family use personal property." Such property often includes the familial residence and the appliances, furniture and automobiles. Individuals should note that a judge can award exclusive possession and use of any family use property to a spouse who has custody of the minor children. This is done primarily in an effort to allow the children to continue to enjoy the environment with which they are so familiar. If the court sees fit to make such an award, it can last for a period of up to three years from the date of the divorce decree.
Prior to making such an award, however, the court will consider the best interests of the children, the interests of each spouse in continuing to use the family use personal property, and any hardship that would be imposed upon an individual whose interest in the family residence or property would be infringed upon by a court order.
If you have questions about marital property and your rights under the law, contact a Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC as soon as possible.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.