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What happens to your marital property in Maryland?

One of the main concerns of many couples getting a divorce is money. Worry can fuel this concern; nobody wants to receive the short end of the stick and watch their ex live quite comfortably. You might worry about who keeps the house and how to divide your joint bank account.

Maryland addresses these concerns with an equitable divorce law. While some states decide to split the value of all marital property down the middle, Maryland courts must divide assets according to what will be fair. In many cases, this could be an even split for each spouse, but the courts can also award more assets to one spouse than the other when it would be fair.

However, this type of division can be complicated to determine. Some couples have a unique financial situation and assets like debt or investments make this process challenging.

For example, a husband uses money from a shared account to buy out a business. He takes on a management role and increases the value of the business threefold. His wife, however, did not contribute to the business in any other way. Is the company marital property? When they divorce, will she receive a portion of its new value?

The answer is likely yes; the business is marital property and the wife will probably receive some amount of money for it. Because the husband bought this asset with shared funds, the wife technically paid for it, too. She did not add her labor, however, so she may not receive an equal share.

However, what if she has a serious medical condition with expensive bills? What if she makes significantly more than her husband? These kinds of considerations may shift the court’s decision in “favor” of one spouse, but the end result should be reasonable.

If you have similar concerns about the asset division process, you can speak with a divorce lawyer about fairness in your individual case.

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