Couples are choosing to live together, without marriage, at increasing rates. Every year the number of unmarried cohabitating couples increases. If these couples break up, it can be messy and confusing. Unlike marriage, many cohabiting couples do not understand the legal rights and responsibilities of sharing property. This can lead to confusing break-ups and complex asset division issues.
We've all seen it before: a television drama in which one spouse, hurt by the fact that they are going through a bitter divorce, takes revenge on their partner by destroying marital assets and frivolously spending money so that their partner gets less when property is divided. Despite the fact that the situation is made up, we often empathize with the characters because we know that divorce can turn ugly and emotional. That's why we don't question the fact that a scenario such as this could easily happen in real life.
Even though Maryland is an equitable distribution state, property and assets are not necessarily divided equally during divorce proceedings. A lot of things are taken into consideration by a family law judge, all of which can play a major factor in what spouses get in the split and how much.
While any divorce can be challenging and even overwhelming at times, this can be even more so for high-asset couples. That's because considerable wealth, large investments and large caches of property and items can be tremendously challenging to sort out, particularly if the couple has been together for a long time or their assets are significantly entangled.
It can be hard to know what you can and cannot do in accordance with family law when you don't have a sufficient legal background. Generally, most people only have a vague understanding of the law - not enough to successfully guide them through a legal issue. In most cases, it's a person's lack of knowledge that leaves them asking questions like the one we're asking above:
When it comes to the subject of prenuptial agreements, the important thing to remember is that everyone's situation is different. For some couples, they may have been married before and therefore come to their next marriage with a considerable amount of assets. For them, a prenuptial agreement is about protecting what they had in the event that divorce should strike twice. For others, the situation may be very different.
Maryland has equitable distribution laws in place for couples looking to divide assets in a divorce. But, the laws are not so straightforward when it comes to deciding who keeps the engagement ring in the event that the couple splits before marriage. Many men spend thousands of dollars on the perfect ring when it comes time to propose, so it would only seem fair that they would be able to keep it should the relationship go sour. While the ring went to the "innocent" person in the past, modern law has changed dramatically and property division is based on the situation.
In many states, a couple can file for divorce for any reason at any time during the marriage. Maryland, however, is a little different. A no-fault divorce can only be achieved after one year of a mutual separation. If fault can be proven, such as cruelty or adultery, a couple can divorce right away. This is called an absolute divorce, and when a couple cannot obtain one immediately, there is an alternative: limited divorce.
If you live in Maryland and you and your spouse are headed for divorce, you likely have many questions about the process, especially if you've never divorced before. Depending on how long you were married, you may have accumulated many assets together. Who gets to keep what, and do you have any say in the decision? Believe it or not, you have more power over the final outcome than you may think.
More and more people are quitting corporate America and becoming their own bosses. While this may seem like the dream life for many Maryland residents, starting a business can be a risky venture. With no regular paycheck to count on, many entrepreneurs work 80-hour weeks and make many sacrifices to keep their businesses afloat. So when their marriages fail, these entrepreneurs may worry about what will become of their business, especially if it is profitable. Will they have to split it 50/50 and have their ex-spouse as a business partner for eternity?