Towson Property Division Lawyer
Are you looking for a Towson property division lawyer with proven capability and vast experience? At Lebovitz Law, we deal with all aspects of property division law, from initial consultation to settlement, discovery, and distribution. If you demand the very best, we’re ready to fight in your corner.
Deciding what to do with all the marital property, including both assets and debts, that a divorcing couple has acquired over the course of a marriage can be a daunting task. If the parties can’t agree between themselves on how to do it, then it’s up to the judge to hold a hearing and decide how to fairly divvy up the property. Lebovitz Law provides practical advice and insightful representation in this process.
Our dedicated family law attorney can help you come up with a property settlement agreement that meets your needs. If an agreement can’t be reached, divorce attorney Richard Lebovitz is skilled in many ways of helping couples avoid or resolve conflicts through mediation, collaborative law, and other forms of dispute resolution. For help with property distribution and other matters related to your divorce in Baltimore County or Maryland statewide, contact our experienced Towson property division lawyer today.
How Lebovitz Law Can Help
Family law attorney Richard Lebovitz is vastly experienced in helping divorcing parties resolve the outstanding issues in their divorces, including creating property settlement agreements that both parties agree to and that meet their needs. Even amicable divorces can become contested and hostile if the process of dividing marital property is allowed to break down. Lebovitz Law can help you stay on track and create a fair agreement that will receive court approval. In contested matters, we provide representation in courtroom hearings to ensure your interests are considered.
Marital property is defined in Maryland as any property, regardless of how it is titled, that was acquired by either party singularly or jointly during the marriage. By law, marital property does not include property that was:
- Acquired before marriage
- Acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party
- Excluded from the marital estate by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
- Directly traceable to a non-marital source
With over 30 years of experience in Maryland family law, attorney Richard Lebovitz and his team at Lebovitz Law can help you sort out the marital property from separate property, ensuring that every piece of marital property is included and accurately valued. Valuing property correctly is just as important to a fair distribution as identifying marital and separate property, and Lebovitz Law can help you through the process of valuing complex assets such as business interests or the marital share of a pension plan.
If the parties can’t agree on divorce property division, the matter goes to the courts, where a judge will review the evidence and legal arguments from both sides and determine what assets are marital and separate and what their values are. The court can transfer ownership from one party to another as necessary for a fair distribution, including awarding the family home to the custodial parent when it’s in the best interest of the child to do so. Lebovitz Law provides passionate and effective advocacy inside and outside the courtroom in contested matters.
In the state of Maryland, asset division following a divorce is based on the principle of equitable distribution. Both parties are entitled to an equitable division of marital property, which is divided fairly but not necessarily equal in value. Division of property can be a lengthy and convoluted process, with the final distribution phase often preceded by consultation, settlement, and discovery.
At Lebovitz Law, we cover the full range of family law matters in Maryland, including child custody, child support, domestic violence, adoption, and property distribution. We offer the following services to help you achieve a fair outcome:
When you’re going through a divorce, professional consultation is needed from the outset. At Lebovitz Law, we listen carefully and communicate clearly to find solutions for your individual case. Property division can be simple or complex, with early and ongoing consultation needed to ensure the best distribution outcome.
All property held by the married couple is part of the settlement process. In many cases, we overcome complex property division issues by obtaining a settlement through mediation. When both parties are in disagreement and settlement proves difficult, the legal experts at Lebovitz Law are highly skilled in the art of negotiation.
If a settlement cannot be reached due to a lack of transparency or detail, a discovery phase may be needed. At Lebovitz Law, we can uncover the true value of all marital property, discover hidden assets, recognize debt and tax obligations, and work through “use and possession” provisions. We work with forensic accountants to determine the true value of marital assets.
Property division laws are designed to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of marital assets. If a simple settlement cannot be reached, Maryland courts may be needed to ensure a final property settlement. At Lebovitz Law, a property division attorney will represent your case and resolve conflicts through recognized forms of dispute resolution.
Maryland Property Division Laws
Property division laws in Maryland can be complex, so it’s important to consult with a legal expert. When both parties cannot agree on a fair distribution of marital assets, the court must intervene. The final property division recognized by the court is granted as a monetary award. This sum is given to one spouse to balance the equitable distribution of marital assets.
The following three-step process applies:
- Identify relevant marital property
- Value marital property at the time of the divorce
- Set the final value based on guidelines from the Family Law Article
The Difference Between Marital Property and Separate Property
The equitable distribution of marital assets involves a sharp division between marital and non-marital property. All property obtained during the course of a marriage is marital property, regardless of who paid for it. This may include things like houses, cars, furniture, appliances, and investments.
In contrast, all property obtained prior to the marriage is non-marital or separate property. It remains the property of the person who owned it before the marriage. If a property is received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, it remains non-marital property unless it’s gifted or titled to the other party.
Other Factors Considered in the Equitable Distribution of Property
The difference between marital and non-marital property has a huge influence on the property division outcome. However, it is far from the only influential factor. Differences between monetary and non-monetary contributions are another significant issue. Under Maryland law, contributions as a parent, homemaker, or maintenance provider may be equivalent to monetary contributions.
Along with the value of the property, and the contributions made by either spouse, the details of property acquisition may also come into play. Marriage details can also affect distribution, including the length of the marriage, the circumstances leading to divorce, and any specific alimony awards. Individual circumstances can also affect the outcome, including the economic and personal health of both parties.
Dividing Marital Property in Maryland
Maryland is what is known as an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to dividing up a couple’s marital property in a divorce. While courts often strive to divide the property as equally as possible, the overall goal is to distribute the property in a fair manner, which might or might not be entirely equal in a given circumstance. Many factors go into determining a fair or equitable distribution. The factors set out in Maryland law include:
- The contributions, monetary and non-monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
- The value of all property interests of each party;
- The economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made;
- The circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age of each party;
- The physical and mental condition of each party;
- How and when specific marital property or interest in property was acquired, including the effort expended by each party in accumulating the marital property or the interest in the property;
- The contribution by either party of property to the acquisition of real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety;
- Any award of alimony and any award or other provision that the court has made with respect to family use of personal property or the family home; and
- Any other factor that the court considers necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award or transfer of an interest in the property.
What Are Your Dispute Resolution Options?
Dealing with a divorce involves a range of complex and highly stressful procedures. To help reduce conflict, a specialized property division lawyer can initialize a recognized dispute resolution process. There are lots of options available to you, from negotiation to mediation, arbitration, collaboration, and litigation.
- Negotiation is a private settlement that can precede a contested divorce hearing. While a negotiated settlement simplifies the court’s involvement, it can be risky and still needs to be examined by the court.
- Mediation is a private or court-ordered process that attempts to reach a settlement via an independent third party. This process is relatively low cost, and it offers a real chance of reaching a balanced agreement.
- Arbitration is similar to mediation, but it transfers decision making to a third-party arbitrator. While both parties meet and put forward their priorities, the arbitrator makes the final decision.
- Collaboration involves engaging an entire team of professionals to help resolve the case. This process offers tailored and well-rounded solutions for both parties, but it can be more expensive and time-consuming.
- Litigation is often the final process initialized when an agreement cannot be reached any other way. Litigation fees can be very expensive, but this process is needed when other approaches are unsuccessful.
Common Property Division Issues
During the property division process, lots of problems are likely to arise. At Lebovitz Law, our expert team can deal with any of the following issues to ensure the best possible outcome for your case:
Hidden assets may include non-disclosed marital or nonmarital property. If your spouse is not forthcoming about a property, or their listing lacks detail and transparency, we can uncover hidden assets to ensure balanced monetary awards. We work with highly-experienced forensic experts in Maryland and across the United States.
Accurate asset valuation is central to every balanced property division outcome. If mutual agreement can be reached by both parties, this value will be taken into account. If an agreement cannot be reached regarding property value, the listed value on the date of the separation or divorce will be used instead.
Marital debt obligations need to be managed during property division to ensure equitable distribution. Some marriages or partnerships end while one partner is in serious financial trouble. As an experienced property division lawyer, we will manage all marital debt obligations as part of the property distribution process.
Divorce and associated monetary awards have real-world tax consequences. Property holdings and investments have tax implications, with accurate division needed to ensure financial fairness. In addition, the division of marital property may have significant tax consequences if a monetary award is offered by the court.
The “use and possession” of family property is listed under Maryland law. This provision allows a spouse to live in the marital home for up to three years to help children live in familiar surroundings. At Lebovitz Law, our attorneys will help you understand this provision and determine whether it’s appropriate for your circumstances.
Experience And Credentials
At Lebovitz Law, we have the experience and capability needed to handle complex property distribution cases. We find tailored solutions for specific situations, practice with utmost transparency, and take the time to listen to your needs and answer your questions. We are driven by professional integrity and committed to delivering outstanding results at a cost you can afford.
Lebovitz Law is owned by Richard Lebovitz, a third-generation attorney with close to three decades of experience. Richard is a member of the Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and State of Maryland Bar Associations and the Maryland Association for Justice. As a specialist equitable distribution lawyer, he has achieved top ratings from legal organizations such as Avvo and Super Lawyers®. His experience in property division law will help you to receive the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact the Towson Property Division Lawyers at Lebovitz Law Today!
Please contact Lebovitz Law today to discuss your case and schedule an appointment. We offer valuable advice so you can find the best way forward.