Marriage isn’t just the union of two individuals who happen to fall in love, it’s a long-term commitment. Marriages take work and effort in order to sustain and sometimes, things happen within a marriage that breaks the relationship down. While some couples are able to repair their marriage through therapy, others find that divorce is their best option.
If you and your spouse are planning on filing for divorce in Rockville, MD because he/she committed adultery, you may be wondering how this is going to affect the division of assets if you are considered the “breadwinner” of the family. Will you still be required to pay alimony even though your spouse was unfaithful? Will all of your assets be subject to division including your personal savings account or retirement fund?
In order to get an answer that is tailored to your particular circumstances, we recommend that you contact our divorce law firm to speak with one of our trusted Rockville, MD divorce attorneys. Barkley & Kennedy has been providing legal services to residents of Rockville for many years and would be more than happy to clarify any uncertainties you might be having at this time.
Understanding Maryland’s Divorce Laws
While you may feel as though your spouse should be entitled to nothing more than what the both of you acquired together while married, you need to understand Maryland’s divorce laws and how they will affect the division of assets. Starting with the basics, let’s review when a Maryland court is going to issue a divorce which will then lead us into the topic of the division of assets.
Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Maryland
The State of Maryland currently follows no-fault divorce laws which means if you want to divorce your spouse or they wish to divorce you, the only thing that needs to be proven is that both parties mutually agree to the divorce or you meet the 12-month separation requirement. The 12-month separation requirement can only be used if the two of you have lived apart in separate households without sexual intimacy continuously for one year.
If you wish to make it known that your spouse committed adultery and that is the sole reason for you wanting to file for divorce, then you can use this as your ground for filing. In the event your spouse files first using the 12-month separation requirement or mutual consent as their grounds for dissolving the marriage, you are going to want to bring this to the attention of one of our Rockville, MD divorce lawyers. They can help you decide how to respond to your spouse’s request seeing that he/she is not acknowledging they committed infidelity which has led to the breakdown of your marriage.
Important: It is worth noting that if the grounds for divorce occurred outside the state of Maryland, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before your application is filed [Source: Maryland Code §7-101].
What happens to assets when a divorce is prompted by infidelity?
When a party files for divorce as a result of infidelity, it is important for the court to be made aware of this if you and your spouse did not create an agreement together that addresses the division of assets. When no agreement between parties exists, Maryland’s Marital Property Act governs the division of property and it states that all marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Before a court even begins to divide property, it must establish what is marital property and what is considered separate property.
To clarify, marital property is any property that is obtained during the course of the marriage, regardless of who purchased it. The Maryland People’s Law Library classifies these are some examples of marital property: real estate, bank accounts, stock, furniture, pensions and retirement assets, cars, and other personal property. Non-marital property, on the other hand, is any property that is obtained prior to the marriage or was received by a spouse as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.
While the court does follow equitable distribution, that doesn’t always mean assets are cut evenly down the middle. Because your divorce was prompted by infidelity, you may be able to maintain possession of certain assets that typically would be subject to division. If you want to increase your chances of having this happen, you are going to need an experienced Rockville, MD divorce lawyer such attorney Daniel Kennedy representing you.
Now, it is important to understand that with certain assets such as a home that has both you and your spouse listed on the title, the court does not have the authority to change the title despite the fact that one person committed adultery. Hence, the court cannot give the house to you or your spouse. It can, however, consider the circumstances that contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. The same would apply to other assets that are owned by both you and your spouse.
It’s Time to Get Connected with a Divorce Lawyer in the Rockville Area Now
The division of assets is one issue that often prompts arguments and disagreements in a divorce, especially when it was caused by infidelity. If you want to be sure you are awarded the assets you are entitled to or maintain possession over certain assets you don’t believe should be subject to division, you must hire a skilled divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD. If you are interested in learning more about how our firm can help you through this difficult time, contact us now at 301-251-6600.
You can reach Barkley & Kennedy at:
51 Monroe Street, #1407
Rockville, MD 20850