Baltimore Property Division Lawyer
The longer you have been married, the more complicated your financial situation probably is. But even in a relatively short marriage, you and your spouse have likely acquired significant assets and debt, including maybe cars, a home (and home mortgage), credit cards, pension contributions, jewelry, appliances, furnishings, investments, art and countless other items. Deciding how to divide all this property in a divorce can be a difficult experience even in the most amicable split, but it can seem like a nightmare if you and your future ex are not on speaking terms. At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, we will work with you and your spouse to come up with a fair settlement agreement that meets your needs and addresses the items most important to you. If an agreement cannot be achieved, our experienced Baltimore property division lawyer will stand up for you in court and ensure that the final property division is fair and in your best interests.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in Baltimore Divorces
When granting a divorce in Maryland, the judge is required to make an equitable distribution of marital property. An equitable distribution means that the division must be fair, but it does not require that the property be divided exactly equally in half. The court has wide discretion in deciding how to divide the property and can even order one spouse to pay a monetary award to the other spouse as part of the property division. Here’s the important things to know about dividing property in a Maryland divorce, and how the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes can help.
Marital Property – Marital property includes certain real property owned by the couple together, and all assets (and debts) of any kind which were acquired by either spouse during the marriage, except for property acquired by gift or inheritance to just one spouse. Property owned prior to the marriage is generally considered separate property, but even separate property can become marital property depending upon how it is treated by the spouses during the marriage. Also, a prenuptial agreement can alter how property is characterized, turning otherwise separate property into marital property and vice versa.
Sometimes one spouse will try to hide assets from the court to keep certain property from being divided. A spouse may also hide or underreport income for similar reasons. At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, our family law attorney uses his years of experience in Baltimore divorce cases to ensure that all property is taken into consideration and properly characterized as marital or separate property. We will also ensure that all property is valued accurately for a fair distribution, including even complicated assets such as business valuations or stock options.
Equitable Distribution – The court looks at a number of factors to decide what kind of division would be fair to the parties. The judge’s decision is based in large measure on the evidence introduced by both sides and the arguments made by the attorneys. We work hard with a close attention to detail to prepare and present a strong case that persuasively sets out the factors needed for a favorable distribution. Some of the factors considered by the court include:
- Duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s financial situation
- The contributions each spouse made to the household
- The manner in which certain assets were acquired
- Whether a spouse is awarded alimony in the divorce
- Whether a spouse with custody was granted possession of the family home in the divorce
- Evidence of marital misconduct by either spouse that contributed to the divorce
Call Hasson D. Barnes for Help with the Property Division in Your Baltimore Divorce
Make sure the equitable distribution of marital property in your Baltimore divorce is truly equitable, and that the issues that matter most to you are treated with respect. Call the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes at 443-423-0548 to schedule your consultation.