As with many other aspects of divorce, if a divorcing couple in Maryland can reach agreement on the division of their property, the court will likely approve the agreement so long as it is not unreasonable.
When there is dispute about property division, as often arises, the court must step in to determine who gets what. Maryland is what’s known as an “equitable distribution” state with regard to the division of property in divorce. People sometimes assume equitable means equal, but what it really means is an arrangement that is fair under all the relevant circumstances.
In order for a judge to make a truly equitable property distribution, he or she must be well informed about three things: the assets (and debts) of the divorcing couple, how these assets were accumulated, and the circumstances that might impact how that property is divided. The court must also have the information needed to decide if property is subject to division (marital) or if it properly belongs to one party, outside of the marriage (non-marital).
Though most divorce cases ultimately settle, our firm recognizes that in most situations, the best way to ensure achieving the best settlement is to prepare the case as if it is going to trial. That means that we conduct thorough discovery to uncover all assets and debts as well as the parties’ conduct and capabilities, to be able to present the court with everything it needs to fairly determine the distribution of assets.
Parties often are concerned about who will get the house and how the bank accounts will be split up. But property encompasses many other things as well, not all of which are obvious. These include retirement accounts, bonuses and other compensation earned during the marriage but not yet paid, and the goodwill of a family business that one spouse is taking over.
Our firm is prepared to deal with unusual property concerns, such as difficult-to-value collections, as well as cases that involve a high level of assets or a family business. The Law Office of Michael Golburgh has on staff an attorney who is experienced not only in family law, but who has a Master of Laws in Taxation and an extensive background in financial planning. This broad experience is highly valued by our clients who are concerned about the tax or business implications of property division in their divorce.
Our firm also prepares Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) for the division of certain retirement accounts. This is a complex task that many family law firms are not equipped to handle, and they, therefore, outsource these responsibilities to firms such as ours.
We invite you to contact The Law Office of Michael Golburgh to learn more about the division of property in divorce or to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.