Dividing assets can be one of the most difficult parts of the Maryland divorce process. A high-asset divorce can cause additional problems as there are many different types of property to divide. When one decides to file for divorce, it’s important to be prepared for asset division by understanding the two basic types of assets in the eyes of the law. These are marital property and separate property.
The differences in marital and separate property
Marital property is classified as assets that are acquired during the marriage. This may include wages, bonuses, retirement and property purchased — like real estate and vehicles. In many cases, this type of property will be divided equally. This can vary though based on prenuptial agreements or through working out a different arrangement that both parties agree to.
Separate property can be challenging during asset division. It includes assets that are owned prior to the marriage. Separate property may also inheritances, gifts and certain legal settlements. In most cases, separate property is nonnegotiable during the divorce and will remain with the original owner of the property. There are some exceptions to this rule, and it can vary based on the state in which the divorce is filed.
Legal help is essential to a less stressful divorce
The legalities of asset division can be complicated, especially in a high-asset divorce. Assets may include cars, real estate, investments, and more. Separate and marital properties can be negotiated through legal asset division with or without a prenuptial agreement. It’s wise to seek legal advice from an experienced Maryland family law attorney to prepare oneself and understand all the options before moving forward.