Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided based on a number of factors as part of a divorce decree. These factors may include your income, your partner’s income or your ability to work. Your age, physical condition and whether or not you have children may also be considered relevant during the property division process.
What is held within the marital estate?
As a general rule, anything that is acquired during the marriage is considered to be a part of the marital estate. Marital assets might include a home or car that was purchased with joint funds, or money inside of a brokerage or retirement account. It’s worth noting that an asset may be considered part of the marital estate even if only one name is on title documents. It’s also worth mentioning that any appreciation in an asset that takes place during a marriage might be considered a joint asset in a divorce proceeding.
Be careful when it comes to commingling assets
Assets that begin as separate property may lose that status if they are used to acquire or maintain a joint item. For instance, if you deposit money from an inheritance into a joint bank account, the money will likely convert from a separate asset to marital property. The same is true if you used joint funds to maintain a home that you owned before getting married.
In a divorce settlement, you may be entitled to funds in a bank account, a family home or other joint assets. You may also be entitled to receive spousal support payments on a temporary or permanent basis.