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Property division not always equal in Maryland

When a married couple moves to Maryland, they might not be aware of all the laws that govern family-related matters throughout the state. For instance, most newly married couples are not concerned with property division laws or other regulations regarding divorce. They obviously expect their unions to last a lifetime and typically have other things on their mind when beginning their new life together.

It's no secret that many Maryland marriages end in divorce, however. When such situations arise, property division laws come into play. Therefore, it's often helpful to review such laws ahead of time so as to be able to make informed decisions as the divorce process unfolds.

Maryland is not a community property state. All property, assets and debt are divided between spouses in divorce, but not necessarily in half. The court determines a fair division based on various regulations and factors of consideration.

Any property acquired during a marriage typically becomes marital property subject to division in a divorce. In other words, such property is generally considered jointly owned by both spouses. This is the case even if only one spouse's name is on the title of a particular piece of property, such as a motor vehicle. It is not uncommon (in Maryland and other commutative property states) for jointly owned property to be divided equally even though community property rules don't apply.

It is not the same, however, for any property a spouse owned before getting married. This type of property is separately owned and, therefore, not subject to property division in a divorce. Those with questions or concerns regarding their specific situations should consult with an experienced family law attorney to consider all of their available options.

Source: FindLaw, "Maryland Marital Property Laws", Accessed on Feb. 15, 2017

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