Making sure you don’t receive the short end of the stick is probably one of your main priorities during the divorce process. And that often starts with a just division of marital assets.
To ensure you receive a fair outcome through the property division process, you should keep the equitable distribution system in mind and keep tabs on what the court considers separate property.
Equitable distribution rules
There are probably a lot of items you’d like to keep after you separate from your spouse. But before trying to claim just about every asset as your own, it’s important to take note of the time, energy and resources your spouse contributed through the course of your marriage. Although, it might be difficult to look out for your ex while you are breaking up with them, you should understand that the courts in Maryland will use equitable distribution rules to decide on a property division settlement.
The equitable distribution system makes way for a division of assets that is fair, rather than a 50/50 spilt. And in addition to contributions, including monetary and nonmonetary ones, the court might also make sure your draft agreement that considers:
- Each party’s ability to provide for themselves after divorce
- The age and health of each spouse
- How many years the marriage lasted
- The reason you are seeking a divorce in the first place
- If a family court grants the marital home or alimony to either spouse
Separate property classification
It’s important to note that the courts may also look at when and how you obtained each specific asset. This is because some of your possessions might fall under separate property category, which isn’t subject to division during divorce. Separate property includes gifts or inheritances. It also includes property you’ve acquired prior to marriage.
To make sure that fairness is at the core of your property settlement agreement, you can consult a family law professional.