Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Monetary Awards, Equitable Distribution & Maryland Divorce
If you obtain an absolute divorce in Maryland, the court may need to make an equitable distribution of any property the divorcing couple attained either together or, in some instances, separately while married. Your Baltimore and Towson divorce lawyer wants you to know that the judge handling the case is required to follow a three-step process when making decisions regarding monetary awards and equitable.
The first thing a judge will need to do is determine which property is, in fact, marital property for distribution purposes. Certain property is not typically included in marital property, such as property that was obtained prior to the marriage, acquired via inheritance from a third party or excluded by agreement.
The parties should note, however, that if they own real property as tenants by the entirety, such property will be deemed marital property regardless how or when the property was acquired--unless they have a prior agreement that excludes the property from being designated as such.
Next, the court must determine the value of the property that has been deemed as marital property, which may or may not be a simple task. Lastly, the court (where appropriate) will make a monetary award, which will include the right to split retirement accounts, pensions, deferred compensation and/or profit sharing plans, among other things. The judge might also transfer title to specific personal property that is used for the household (with the consent of the lienholder) and transfer title of a family home that is owned jointly if one party is allowed to buy-out the other party or released from liability.
What Happens Next?
Most divorce lawyers know that courts seek to make equitable distributions in divorce cases; however, parties should keep in mind that equitable does not necessarily mean "equal." Whenever a party (or both) seeks resolution to various marital property issues, both parties will be required to complete and submit what is known as a Joint Statement of Marital Property and Nonmarital Property document that clearly lists all property owned by both (or one) of them, as well as their claims regarding status.
To be fair, once that document has been filed, the court, by law, will need to take a number of factors into consideration. For instance, the court will need to take into account the value of each party's property interests, as well as each party's contributions to the family's well-being (both monetarily and non-monetarily).
Additionally, the court must consider the financial circumstances of the parties when the award is expected to be made, along with the circumstances that led to the divorce. Other factors include the length of the marriage; the age, mental and physical condition of each party; any alimony or other provisions that may have been awarded by the court with respect to the family's use of the familial home or personal property and many other things.
Whenever a court makes a monetary award, the judge will also determine the manner of payment, to include the ability to enter a judgment for any amount of the award that is payable and due. If you or a loved one is dealing with divorce issues and you have questions about how equitable distribution and monetary awards will apply to you, contact the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC today for more information.
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.