50/50 states, also known as marital property are states where the marital property is considered ‘community property’ and is divided equally between both spouses in a divorce. Only nine states are marital property states, these are Louisiana, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Most other states are equitable distribution states.
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, this means that marital property is divided in a way that is viewed as fair rather than for it to be divided equally between both spouses. Couples can come to an agreement on how they wish to divide their property and the court will honor it, however in case the couple was unable to reach an agreement, the court will interfere and a judge will divide the property the way they deem is fair.
In the state of Maryland, there is a clear distinction between marital property and separate property.
Marital property is all property that was acquired during the marriage or is jointly titled. Separate property, on the other hand, is any property owned by either spouse before marriage or property that is received during the marriage such as an inheritance or gift. Separate property is not subject to division in Maryland.
Moreover, in the state of Maryland, when the funds used to purchase marital property can be traced back to separate property, it will be considered separate property. For example, if one spouse sold a personal item to purchase furniture for the couple’s house, the furniture will be considered separate property.
The court considers a number of factors in deciding how to divide the property and whether to make a monetary award. Those factors include the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each spouse to the well being of the family; the financial and economic circumstances of each spouse; the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s age, physical and mental health; the circumstances under which specific assets were acquired; the contribution of each spouse’s separate property to property jointly titled in the couple’s names; any marital misconduct such as adultery or increased spending in anticipation of the divorce, and if either spouse has been awarded either alimony or possession of the couple’s home.
In cases where one spouse received a larger share of the assets which may seem unfair, for example if the spouse is awarded the family home which is a large chunk of the couple’s assets, the spouse may be required to make monetary award payments for the other party.
Some of the benefits received by either spouse during the marriage may be considered marital property and may be considered in the division of property, these benefits include stock options and retirement plans.
The court may award temporary use and possession of a property to one of the spouses if it is considered to be in the best interest of both spouses and their children if they have any, for example, the parent that was granted custody of the children may be granted temporary use and possession of important assets such as the family home or car. Use and possession awards may only last three years after the divorce.
If you need a Maryland Divorce Lawyer to help you with your divorce case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland divorce attorneys can help you.