Beltway Family Law Firm Handles Equitable Distribution Issues
Experienced attorney serves Maryland and Washington, D.C. residents
Divorce can be a heartbreaking experience, and if you don’t have a strong attorney by your side, it might also be a serious financial setback. The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC represents Maryland and Washington, D.C. residents in negotiations and court proceedings related to the division of property between divorcing spouses. We can explain the equitable distribution standard used by local courts and take effective steps to obtain a proper share of the marital estate.
Deciding what is marital property and what is separate property
The first step toward dividing a marital estate is understanding what is in it. Typically, assets and debts acquired by either spouse over the course of marriage are divisible upon divorce. Property and obligations that an individual spouse had prior to being wed do not become part of the marital estate. These items revert to the party who originally owned them once the divorce is final. There are some exceptions to this standard, though. A valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can direct that certain assets and debts remain separate property. Also, if one spouse receives a gift or inheritance and keeps it separate from the marital estate, they will have sole ownership of what was given them when the marriage ends.
Types of property divided in a divorce
Most people go into a divorce understanding that decisions will have to be made about the distribution of assets in joint accounts, ownership of family vehicles and what will happen to the marital home. However, other types of property must also be divided, including pension assets, investments and possibly even access to benefits. This is why it is vital to hire a divorce lawyer who is familiar with cases involving sophisticated assets. Whether you require counsel on dividing a business, establishing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to address retirement funds or some other property division concern, our firm will pursue a solution that fits your particular situation and needs.
Factors used by courts in equitable distribution matters
Both spouses usually benefit when they can settle on an appropriate division of assets and debts. Through skillful negotiation, we can often secure a favorable resolution for clients while saving them time and money. If this is not possible, Maryland and Washington, D.C. courts use the equitable distribution standard to reach a result. This means the judge issues an order based on what he or she thinks is fair. The outcome does not have to leave each spouse with an equal amount. Any relevant factors can be used in this process, but common factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Economic situation and earning ability of each spouse
- Each spouse’s contributions to the family, including non-financial contributions
- Alimony awarded as part of the divorce
Each divorce is unique, and our attorney will carefully evaluate the facts in your case and develop a strategy aimed at achieving your objectives, whether your property division order is resolved through negotiations, during mediation or in court.
Contact a Washington, D.C. and Maryland lawyer for a free consultation about property division in your divorce
The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC advocates on behalf of clients in equitable distribution matters and other facets of the marriage dissolution process. Our office is in Greenbelt and we serve residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C. To make an appointment for a free consultation, please call 202-864-2296 or contact us online.