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Marital Assets that Should be Kept in Mind During your Maryland Divorce

DivorcePlan

Splitting marital assets is never easy. Knowing how to value property fairly can be overwhelming. But remember, assets include far more than houses and cars. The devil is in the details, of course, and a local Baltimore attorney can address the specifics of your situation.

Pensions: The Bangs Formula 

One thing that should always be considered in a divorce are pension benefits, particularly if one partner earned a pension while the other stayed home to take care of domestic responsibilities. How, then, is a pension to be fairly divided? In Bangs v. Bangs, the Court of Special Appeals put forth a formula to determine a spouse’s marital share of a pension, by factoring the percentage of the pension earned during the marriage and discounting the percentage of the pension earned before and/or after the marriage as nonmarital.

Additional Employer Benefits 

Employers often offer supplementary benefits that should also be part of your divorce settlement, including stock options, deferred compensation plans, and restricted stocks.

Capital Loss 

You may find that capital losses surpassed capital gains. If they also exceeded the annual allowable tax deduction, the losses may have been carried forward, decreasing future tax liabilities.  Depending on your financial position the right to claim capital losses may have substantial financial consequences.

Gifts 

While items you inherited or gifts given to you individually are yours, unless otherwise co-mingled with your spouse, the rules change if the gift came from your spouse. Anything exchanged between you and your former spouse during the marriage is considered marital property. If the gift was given prior to the marriage, such as an engagement ring, it is yours and not marital property.

Reward Travel Points 

Remember that air miles, like hotel points, are all part of any financial settlement you may negotiate. It may take some investigation to determine whether or not points are transferable in a divorce, and to calculate the value of said points, but the effort could prove to be worthwhile.

Retained Income 

If your former spouse ran a business, it’s possible the corporation hung on to money in lieu of paying out dividends. If so, you may be entitled to a portion of these earnings.

Loans being Repaid 

If marital funds were used to loan money to someone during the course of the marriage, you are entitled to a portion of the loan payback.

Lottery Winnings 

If, during the course of the marriage, money was won in the lottery or in a casino, that money is marital property.  However, if the question is will the Court grant you a marital property award from lottery winnings, the answer is, it depends.

A Fair Settlement 

The key to obtaining a fair settlement is to approach property division intellectually, not emotionally. At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC, our experienced team can guide you through the process in order to ensure a sound outcome by including even the assets that you may have overlooked. Contact our Baltimore office today for a free, confidential consultation about your circumstances.

Resource:

mdcourts.gov/data/opinions/cosa/2009/1117s07.pdf

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