Maryland Marital Property Laws
When we’re planning a wedding, we’re usually thinking more about the perfect dinner than which one of us might get that perfect dining room table we buy a few months later. After all, who wants to think about how possessions will be divided in a divorce before we’re even married? But if it comes down to a judge deciding who gets what after a split, how do the courts choose? Here’s a brief summary of marital property laws in Maryland.
Marital Property Law
As a legal concept, marital property refers to all the possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married. There are some states that recognize the concept of "community property," in which all marital property is considered equally owned, and after a divorce, is equally divided. Most states, like Maryland, have no community property laws on the books, which allows for more flexibility and more uncertainty in property division when a couple gets a divorce.
Marital Property Laws in Maryland
Marital property laws can differ from state to state. Learn more about Maryland marital property laws and related matters below.
Community Property Recognized?
Dower And Curtesy
Dower and curtesy abolished (Est. & Tr. Art.§3-202)
Marital Property and Separate Property
Generally speaking, the property you bought into the marriage or received while you are married becomes marital property, regardless of whose name is on the title. Marital property is jointly owned and will get jointly divided should you get divorced. Separate property, on the other hand, is property that one spouse owns before the marriage, and is not subject to division in a divorce. There is some property that a spouse can receive during the marriage, like inheritance or a gift, that is normally considered separate property.
Absent a community property law in Maryland, courts are required to determine a “fair” property division. In most cases, fair is defined by each spouse getting about half of everything they own jointly. A court could decide, however, that an unequal property split is fair. Ideally, if you and your spouse can come to your own agreement regarding property division, a court will generally accept it.
Maryland Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
Marital property and divorce matters are complex, and state laws are subject change. If you would like legal assistance with a divorce matter, you can contact a Maryland divorce attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's divorce and property section for more articles and information on this topic.
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