Committed Divorce Lawyer Helping Montgomery County Couples Navigate the Divorce Process
There are numerous things to consider when filing for divorce in Maryland, including residency requirements, the division and distribution of marital property, alimony (i.e. spousal support) and child custody and support arrangements. With more than three decades’ experience as Silver Spring’s premier divorce attorney, Carol R. Schifter is well-equipped to answer any and all questions you may have regarding divorce in the state of Maryland.
Marital and Separate Property
The first task when dividing marital property is determining whether the assets are shared (i.e. marital) or individual (i.e. separate). Partners who signed a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married may have specified that certain property is marital or separate. If no prenuptial agreement exists, a Maryland judge will likely consider all of the assets and debts to be marital property.
A Maryland judge will consider property separate if a spouse owned it prior to marriage or obtained it during marriage via gift or inheritance. Separate funds in joint accounts will remain separate property only if the owner is able to prove that they are, indeed, separate. This is typically accomplished by providing applicable financial records. Keep in mind, however, that any and all property acquired during the marriage that cannot be traced directly to one specific individual will be considered marital property.
Partners who fail to resolve property issues on their own may end up going to court to seek a decision from a Maryland judge. The court will consider numerous factors in deciding what kind of property division is fair and equitable, including:
- Length of the marriage
- The age, health, physical and mental state of each spouse
- Whether or not one spouse is receiving alimony
- Each partner’s financial contribution to the family
- The economic circumstances of each partner
- The time at which one or both partners acquired specific property
- Any and all marital misconduct that contributed to the demise of the marriage
For information regarding Maryland’s new divorce law, which applies to any couple who doesn’t have minor children and would like to obtain an expedited divorce, contact attorney Carol R. Schifter as soon as possible.