Baltimore County Family Lawyer Discusses Divorce and Asset Division
Talk Is Cheap When It Comes To Equitable Distribution
Do you and your spouse talk about dividing assets? You might not want to, unless the two of you are applying the principles of equitable distribution under the Marital Property Act. Negotiating without sound legal advice can produce a seriously one-sided result, and you do not want to play the part of the fool.
The Real Definition of Marital Property
Marital property is all property acquired during the marriage, however titled, except gifts, inheritance, or properly excluded by a valid agreement. The very first questions might look like this:
- Was it acquired before or after the date of the marriage ceremony?
- Was the asset acquired from an inheritance?
- Was it a gift from a third-party to only one spouse?
The divorce process cuts right through "title." If you or your spouse use phrases like "my retirement," "my car," or "my money" then beware.
It Is Hard To "Give Up" Your Right To Things
As with most hot-button issues, there are many misconceptions about the way in which assets are divided. One such belief is that the person living in the couple’s home at the time of the divorce will receive the house as part of the settlement. On the surface, this logic makes sense.
After all, if one spouse has already chosen to leave the house and the other has continued to maintain a routine in the house, why uproot everyone by giving the home to the spouse who has already left?
It All Comes Down to Marital Property
However, as legal issues tend to be, this is more complicated than what immediately meets the eye. To debunk this myth, we have to understand what constitutes marital property. As it turns out, marital property is anything that was acquired during the marriage with marital assets.
For instance, when celebrity Bethenny Frankel and her former husband Jason Hoppy filed for divorce, both refused to leave their New York apartment, for fear of losing claim to it in divorce settlements. However, with our definition of marital property, we can see that they were a little misguided as to how things would go.
If you and your spouse purchased a home together during your marriage, it can be considered Marital Property, which means that its value is subject to division. So, it doesn’t really matter, from a legal standpoint, who is living in the home.
On the other hand, if one spouse bought the home prior to marriage, or inherited the home, then it could be deemed separate property, not Marital Property. In this case, the owner of the property would likely be allowed to keep it, as it was not part of the marriage and did not legally involve the spouse.
We Can Make Sense of the Confusion
As a Towson asset protection attorney, it’s not uncommon to hear clients who are unsure as to whether they have a right to certain assets that a spouse has acquired during marriage. So, it’s important to keep in mind that, if something was acquired during the time that you were married, it is likely going to be Marital Property.
We understand that divorce is often a complex situation. This is only one small part of the considerations that are made when discussing the division of assets. But if this feels overwhelming, you can rest assured that you are not alone.
The team at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC is ready and willing to meet with you to discuss your case. If you are headed for divorce, you owe it to yourself to have a trusted lawyer on your side, who will keep your best interest at heart throughout the proceedings.
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.