Maryland has equitable distribution laws in place for couples looking to divide assets in a divorce. But, the laws are not so straightforward when it comes to deciding who keeps the engagement ring in the event that the couple splits before marriage. Many men spend thousands of dollars on the perfect ring when it comes time to propose, so it would only seem fair that they would be able to keep it should the relationship go sour. While the ring went to the "innocent" person in the past, modern law has changed dramatically and property division is based on the situation.
Posts tagged "assets"
In many states, a couple can file for divorce for any reason at any time during the marriage. Maryland, however, is a little different. A no-fault divorce can only be achieved after one year of a mutual separation. If fault can be proven, such as cruelty or adultery, a couple can divorce right away. This is called an absolute divorce, and when a couple cannot obtain one immediately, there is an alternative: limited divorce.
If you live in Maryland and you and your spouse are headed for divorce, you likely have many questions about the process, especially if you've never divorced before. Depending on how long you were married, you may have accumulated many assets together. Who gets to keep what, and do you have any say in the decision? Believe it or not, you have more power over the final outcome than you may think.
More and more people are quitting corporate America and becoming their own bosses. While this may seem like the dream life for many Maryland residents, starting a business can be a risky venture. With no regular paycheck to count on, many entrepreneurs work 80-hour weeks and make many sacrifices to keep their businesses afloat. So when their marriages fail, these entrepreneurs may worry about what will become of their business, especially if it is profitable. Will they have to split it 50/50 and have their ex-spouse as a business partner for eternity?
With the divorce rate sky high, many Maryland couples opt to forgo marriage altogether and simply live together. While this may seem to be the ideal way to avoid a costly divorce should the relationship end, asset division is still something that must be considered. Many unmarried couples purchase cars, houses and other big-ticket items together, but when the relationship sours, these couples do not have the same rights or responsibilities as married couples. Because everything is treated as non-marital property, there could be issues regarding division of property if the assets are not titled properly.
Most people have heard the saying "All's fair in love and war." While those who have been through a divorce may have experienced both love and war, very few will say that they got their fair share. However, there are some states - including Maryland - that focus on equitable distribution in a divorce. This means that while the assets may not be evenly divided, they will be split fairly.
Maryland couples who are in the process of splitting up will find property division to be quite complicated - especially when the marital home is involved, which it almost always is. This is especially true if the couple is still legally married and one of the parties wants to buy a new home. It's not always feasible to wait until the divorce is finalized before applying for a mortgage on a new home. While there are ways to get around this, the process of asset division can be challenging because there are many things to keep in mind.
When Maryland couples marry early on in life, say, in their 20s, they typically do not have much in terms of assets. They might be fresh out of college and just starting a career. However, when people divorce and get married again in their 40s, 50s or beyond, there is usually more at stake should that marriage also end in divorce. Because of this, it is important for anyone considering a second, third or subsequent marriage to take stock of their assets, and look into a prenuptial agreement.
When Maryland couples divorce, they typically fight over assets such as bank accounts, homes, vehicles and expensive artwork. However, more and more divorces are involving pets, which tend to be treated as property under state laws, despite being treated as members of the family in many households. One recent property division case involving a dog resulted in sole custody for the ex-husband, a veterinarian.
Maryland residents who are lucky enough to have their divorces proceed amicably usually count themselves as lucky. After all, most people think of divorce as a highly contentious process, full of courtroom battles over issues like child custody and alimony. While professionals who are involved in all stages of divorce have made huge gains in recent years in efforts to move more divorce cases toward respectful mediation and away from courtroom litigation, the fact remains that many cases can only be resolved in front of a family law judge.