Is a 50/50 Split of Assets a Given in Maryland Divorces?
In the complex journey of divorce, understanding how property division works can be puzzling. Many people in Maryland wonder, “Is divorce a 50/50 split of assets?” Here at Jimeno & Gray, we’d like to clear up the misconceptions surrounding this topic.
The Intricacies of Equitable Distribution
Maryland practices equitable distribution during divorce proceedings, which isn’t synonymous with a precise 50/50 division. Instead, equitable means fair and just, and it’s the court’s responsibility to ensure a reasonable allocation of marital assets. Several specific factors influence how the court defines ‘equitable.’ The court considers multiple factors while deciding on property division. The length of the marriage plays a significant role: a longer marriage often implies more intertwined finances. The age and health of both parties also matter, as they can influence earning capacity and future financial needs.
The court acknowledges the monetary and non-monetary contributions of both parties, recognizing that both financial inputs and contributions like homemaking or childcare are crucial to the family’s well-being. The economic circumstances of each party at the time of the division is another significant factor. A spouse with a high earning potential may be in a better position to regain assets after the divorce than a spouse who has been out of the workforce for a long time. Lastly, the reason for the divorce can also impact property distribution in some cases.
Clarifying Separate vs. Marital Property in Maryland Divorces
Separate property in a Maryland divorce refers to assets that one spouse brought into the marriage, any gifts or inheritances received by one spouse alone, and assets bought with non-marital funds. For example, a pre-marriage home, an inheritance, or a car bought with inherited money would typically be considered separate property. This concept is pivotal in the divorce process, as it outlines the assets that belong exclusively to one spouse and are typically not subject to division.
On the other side, marital property includes all assets and income acquired during the marriage, regardless of who holds the title. This includes not only physical assets such as homes and cars, but also intangible ones like pensions, stocks, and even business interests. Additionally, debts accrued during the marriage fall under marital property, making both spouses responsible for their repayment. Understanding these distinctions is critical in achieving a fair asset division during divorce proceedings.
Is Court Intervention Necessary?
The 50/50 division debate primarily applies to contested divorces that necessitate a court’s intervention. If both parties can agree on a Marital Settlement Agreement, they can tailor the property division to their specific circumstances, which may result in a division that’s more or less than 50/50. Divorce doesn’t only split physical assets like homes, cars, and personal possessions. It also includes intangible assets like retirement accounts, stocks, business interests, and even shared debts. Navigating the maze of these complex asset divisions can be daunting and may not result in a clear split.
Reach Out to Trustworthy Divorce Lawyers in Maryland At Jimeno & Gray, P.A.
So, does Maryland ensure a 50/50 division of assets in a divorce? The short answer is no. Maryland prioritizes an equitable distribution of assets, influenced by numerous specific factors. At Jimeno & Gray, P.A., we can provide the expertise you need to navigate the complexities of asset division in your divorce. Contact us today at 410-590-9401 to schedule a consultation.
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Gregory P. Jimeno, Esquire
Frank C. Gray, Jr., Esquire.
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