As Maryland residents prepare for divorce, they might be surprised by some of the issues that come up. Divorce is often a complicated, emotional process and preparation can help offset the sting when a dispute begins.
Division of property can be a contentious process
As an equitable distribution state, Maryland law establishes that during a divorce, property is not necessarily divided equally but in a fair manner. This might surprise some divorcing spouses who expected to get a settlement for fully half the value of the assets. This means that often, during this process, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will need to negotiate the division of the property. Some of the things you need to learn about include:
- The present value of each asset
- Any tax consequences for selling the asset
- Hidden costs and expenses related to the asset that are easy to overlook
As well, you need to become somewhat emotionally detached as negotiating based on emotions can financially hurt and threaten your financial well-being. During this process, you will also need to be clear about all your debt, individual and joint, so you can address it legally and not find yourself responsible for paying a bigger share of the debt after the divorce.
Taxes can complicate things
Another issue that can take you by surprise is taxes and penalties. Each asset might have different taxes and penalties attached if you withdraw or sell the asset. So, when you are reviewing your assets to begin negotiations, you should learn what types of assets you own and how taxes might affect them.
Look to the future
As you negotiate your divorce settlement, you should also look towards the future. You should consider how retirement accounts will be divided, child support and alimony payments and even health insurance payments, particularly if you have a policy that you both want to continue under.