Divorce is mainly a financial transaction unless there are children involved. However, even if you have kids, you will still want to ensure their future is secure and you are in a position to give them what they need growing up. Hence, taking steps to protect your assets in Maryland during a divorce is crucial, no matter your situation.
Collect your financial information early
Understand what assets and debts you and your spouse have. This financial information should include physical assets, such as property and vehicles, and financial assets, such as savings accounts and investments. You will also want to know what each of you owes regarding debts, including any mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, and student loans.
Next, figure out what part of those assets and debts are marital and separate. Marital property is any property or debt acquired during the marriage, regardless of who holds the title. Individual property is anything you owned before the marriage, inherited or gifted to you during the marriage.
Get copies of important financial documents
Make sure you have copies of key financial documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and investment account statements. These will help determine your assets, debts and income.
Create a budget
A budget will help you see where your money is going and give you an idea of what you can afford after your divorce. Knowing your monthly expenses will also help determine child support and alimony payments, if applicable.
In Maryland, marital property is generally divided equitably between divorcing spouses. This rule means the court will divide your property in a way they deem fair but not necessarily equal. The family law judge will consider factors such as your marriage length, age and health, economic circumstances at the time of the divorce and your contribution to the acquisition of marital property and that of a homemaker. It’s important to remember that you can take control of this process by exploring litigation alternatives like mediation and collaborative law.