Property division during a divorce can be very contentious. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on how to divide our property and possessions you will need to ask the court to make those decisions. The States of Maryland and Virginia are both "equitable distribution" states. This means all marital assets are divided "equitably" but not necessarily "equally."
Both states have a statute that set forth the factors that determine how judges should "equitably" divide marital property.
Marital property is property acquired by one or both parties during the marriage and can include: real estate, stocks, furniture, cars and other personal property, bank accounts and retirement accounts. Marital property does not include property acquired before the marriage such as: property acquired by inheritance or as a gift from a third party, property excluded by valid agreement, such as a pre-nuptial agreement and any property directly traceable to any of these sources.
Non-monetary contributions are considered in how a court will equitably divide marital property.
"Separate property" is property that is not subject to equitable distribution and includes property owned prior to marriage, after separation, or received by gift or inheritance.
If you and your former spouse can reach an agreement on how to divide marital property you can enter into a Property Settlement Agreement. If you are unable to reach an agreement, I will work with you to develop and implement a strategy to attempt to assist you in negotiating and entering into such an agreement. The best settlement strategy is to negotiate from a position of strength by being prepared to go to court if the other side is being unreasonable.
I am available to answer questions and assist you with this aspect of your divorce. If you are getting divorced in Montgomery County, MD; or Loudon County or Fairfax County, VA contact me today.