Any married couple who has decided to part ways knows the divorce process can be lengthy, tedious and emotionally draining. Most often, spouses ending their marriage have a lot to think about and negotiate before the final divorce decree is granted, and division of assets is one part of the process that can certainly take up a great deal of time as well as cause some stress. Divorcing Maryland couples are smart to take note of the following tips that could ease this part of the divorce process.
What does division of assets mean?
During the division of assets part of divorce, all assets and earnings accumulated during the marriage will be divided between the spouses; assets may include income, retirement funds, pension funds and investment accounts. As previously mentioned, some people find this process quite stressful, but divorcing couples can make things easier for themselves by being civil and agreeing to who gets what on their own, if at all possible. In any case, each spouse should hire an attorney to guide them toward a fair agreement. Spouses should also know that honesty throughout the asset division process is best.
What is the common law system?
Divorcing spouses should also know the manner in which assets are divided, according to the legal system. A spouse’s assets owned individually prior to the marriage or property inherited or gifted during the marriage are considered separate property, while any property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. In Maryland, the court follows the common law system of property division, meaning property is distributed fairly, although not necessarily equally, and property owned by one spouse from before the marriage typically remains with him or her. Divorcing spouses who end up in court should know the judge will follow the property ownership system in place, so it is in their best interest to keep emotions out of the process.
Many Maryland divorcing couples find negotiations around asset division one of the more challenging aspects of the divorce process. However, spouses who try to behave fairly and civilly toward each other and understand how the system works are most likely to minimize their stress and maximize their financial future. Many people have found an experienced family law attorney a valuable asset while navigating all aspects of their divorce.