Divorce is an emotional process, but it’s also a major financial transaction. After all, the outcome of your marriage dissolution can dictate your financial stability for a long time to come. That’s why it’s critically important that you know how to navigate your divorce in a way that protects your financial future.
How assets are divided in Maryland
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that your marital assets will be divided in a fair, although not necessarily equal, fashion. That may sound simple enough, but the truth of the matter is that there is often a lot of fighting over what constitutes a fair division of assets. Therefore, before you start negotiating resolution or preparing for litigation, you should carefully consider each of the following factors that could play a pivotal role in your property division process:
- Identifying individual property: Remember, only marital assets are subjected to division. This means that individually owned assets will be exempt. Therefore, you need to figure out which assets have remained individually owned and which have been converted into marital assets. For example, if your spouse owned a home when you married him or her, then that residence may have been an individually owned asset. However, if repairs and maintenance of the home were paid for with marital funds, then you gain an interest in the residence. Commingled funds can also be considered marital in nature, and thus subjected to the property division process. So, be thorough here to ensure that you’re protecting what is yours and accessing what you have a right to obtain.
- Your financial standing post-divorce: When addressing property division, one aspect that a court will pay close attention to is each spouse’s financial standing once the divorce is finalized. If you’ve made sacrifices during your marriage that leave you without the education and training that you need to maintain the marital standard of living, then you may be justified in seeking a greater portion of the martial estate, not to mention spousal support.
- The length of your marriage: The longer your marriage has lasted, the more you may be entitled to a greater share of the marital estate.
- The contributions made to obtaining marital property: Here, a court will consider which spouse made the effort necessary to acquire certain marital property. This often means looking at which spouse was working and earning the most, thereby making the acquisition of that property possible.
- The factors leading to divorce: A court has a lot of leeway to consider whatever information that it deems relevant to its property division determination. Therefore, evidence of marital wrongdoing may be key to your case. Infidelity and financial mismanagement may come into play and affect the amount of the marital estate that you can obtain.
Don’t leave your financial future to chance
Your financial future is on the line in your divorce. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to aggressively represent your interests. This will require you to understand the law and know how to craft compelling legal arguments that support your position. As daunting as that may sound, especially if you’re going up against a spouse who has dominated your marital finances for years or decades, you shouldn’t worry. Instead, you should be prepared. An experienced and aggressive legal team like the one at our firm can help you develop the legal strategy that you need to position yourself for success. If you’d like to learn more, then please continue to read our website to see what we have to offer.