One of the major issues that any Frederick Family Court must address during a divorce is what to do with the marital property. Courts are required to make an equitable distribution of marital property, although this does not necessarily mean that the distribution will be fair or equal. As a result, divorces have a poor reputation as being places where people lose property to which they have a right.
A knowledgeable Frederick property division lawyer could help you to fight to protect your property rights during a divorce. They could also help you to come to a fair settlement agreement so that a court is not forced to make these difficult, often unfair decisions. In these ways, a dedicated family law attorney could help to protect your financial future.
The Court’s Role in Property Division
The Family Court in Frederick has the explicit authority to determine the ownership of any personal and marital property owned by the parties to a divorce or annulment. Md. Code, Family Law §8-201(e) states that marital property is any property acquired by either party during a marriage. This typically includes:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
In addition, the statute explicitly states that marital property does not include anything acquired prior to marriage, anything acquired by inheritance or as a gift from a third party, or anything excluded by a valid agreement.
Under Md. Code, Family Law §8-203(a), the court has the power to identify and distribute any marital property during a divorce or annulment. This can leave result in a party to a divorce being forced to sell a home or a business. As a whole, property division in a divorce is an unpredictable issue. However, a skilled Frederick property division attorney could help people to press their claims for their rights over marital property.
Working to Retain Control over the Distribution of Property
As stated above, a court will consider all property obtained during marriage as being marital property. However, one key exception to this idea is that a valid agreement may say otherwise. These valid agreements typically take the form of marital agreements.
For instance, a married couple may state that if their marriage were to end in a divorce, that Spouse A would retain ownership of the home. In fact, a marital agreement can specifically state what spouses wish to do in a divorce in regard to alimony, support, property, or personal rights according to Md. Code, Family Law §8-101.
Similar settlement agreements can also be the product of mediation sessions whereby parties to a divorce come to an agreement after one spouse files for divorce in a Frederick Family Court. A seasoned property division lawyer in Frederick could help individuals to understand the power and utility of marital agreements and their effect on property division.
Speak with a Frederick Property Division Attorney Today
One of the most unpredictable parts of a divorce or annulment in Frederick is how a court will decide the issue of property division. Courts must consider all property obtained during a marriage as marital property, regardless of who actually purchased the items. As a result, people who buy a car in their name, or who make all the payments on a house may be surprise to see how a judge rules on these matters.
A Frederick property division lawyer could help to fight for your rights to your property. This includes demonstrating that property does not fit the definition of “marital property,” that the property is yours by right during a trial, or even working to create a settlement agreement or marital contract that specifically states what is to be done with certain property. Contact an attorney today to discuss your options concerning the division of property.