What is regarded as Non-Marital Property in Maryland

Charlotte Miller


What is regarded as Non-Marital Property in Maryland?

Spouses are often upset when they hear that individually titled property may get divided after a Maryland separation agreement and during a divorce, and regarded as a marital property. A qualified attorney can guide you and mitigate the exposure of your property in divorce proceedings. He can help you in identifying and tracing any asset that might be non-marital. 

To put it simply, in second marriages or in marriages with short duration or in case of prenuptial contracts, it might be important to identify the non-marital property of each spouse – in order to resolve the divorce of a couple. Find out what is regarded in Maryland as non-marital property and how non-marital property is treated by family courts when a case goes to trial.

What is Non-Marital Property?

In Maryland, marital property means property that is titled in anyway, and acquired by one party or both parties at the time of marriage. This includes real property or land property that is held in the name of either party, gift given by one spouse to another and any asset that either spouse gets after being separated but prior to the finalization of the divorce.

Only four non marital property categories are recognized in Maryland:

  1. Property that is obtained prior to marriage 
  2. Gifts or inheritances given to one of the spouses by some individual apart from the other spouse
  3. Property that is excluded explicitly in a valid contract, which is most often separation agreement, post nuptial agreement or prenuptial agreement
  4. Any asset that can be traced directly to any of the first three categories

The fourth and final category is especially problematic, however. In case income on marital assets of spouse is co-mixed with non-marital property for the supplementation of an asset cost, that asset might be mixed sufficiently in such a way that it would be regarded as marital property, instead of non-marital property. This is why some spouses opt for legal separation MD. You may download legal separation forms for any US state from this website.

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Instances of Non-Marital Property

Often, it can be tough to decide what marital property is and what is not. In case you doubt that some property is only of yours alone, you need to discuss the same with your divorce lawyer and find out whether that property qualifies as non-marital property. Here are some common instances of non-marital property, in any case:

  • The premarital house of one spouse 
  • The part of a retirement account which was invested prior to marriage 
  • Family heirlooms that one spouse inherited at the time of marriage 
  • Ownership interest in the family business of one spouse
  • Monetary gifts that one spouse received and held in some account separately from family account

How Maryland Treats Non-Marital Property in Divorce?

In case your divorce lawyer is able to prove that a specific property is a non-marital asset, you can get it awarded to you without the court counting against your equitable distribution share of marital property. In case a piece of asset is comingled, you would be separately entitled to that portion of the non-marital property. There would be an equitable division of the marital portion.

For instance, if a woman has 20,000USD worth of retirement account during marriage and she contributes to it all through the time that she is married, it could be worth to 100,000USD when the time for divorce comes. If she has some proof of the starting value, and there has been no borrowing for withdrawal of funds from the account, a family court in Maryland might award her the initial 20,000USD as non-marital property and possibly also the investment gains on that sum of money. The rest of the 180,000USD would be equally divided between the spouses. If you can prove that a property remained separate, you can protect your claim to it as a non-marital asset.

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