My husband and I have been married for less than two years and are considering divorce. My concern is over our house. I moved in to the home almost 6 years ago and the house was financed by me and my mother. Since I have been married the house was refinanced, again by me and my mother. My husband does contribute $XX.XX each month towards overall household expenses. I pay all household expenses using that contribution but that covers everything, water, BGE, cable, phone, mortgage, etc.
He will have an interest in the house. How much he has depends on a lot of different factors. Some assets can be both marital and non-marital property. A house that was purchased before the marriage is not marital property. However, when you and/or your spouse use marital funds to pay the mortgage, the house then becomes part marital and part non-marital.
If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on how to divide your property, the court will decide what is marital property and how much that property is worth. The court will also look at any marital debts when determining the value of the marital property.
The court will then determine each spouse’s share of the property. The court will use a variety of factors (see below) to decide the relative value of each spouse’s share of the marital property. Under the Maryland Marital Property Act, the court can consider both the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each spouse to the marriage. Non-monetary contributions can include childcare, meal preparation, maintaining the home, etc..
The court cannot transfer property titled in one spouse's name to the other. Instead, the court will give the spouse without title a monetary award to cover their share of the property.
If the property cannot be divided (such as a house), the court will decide on a value. One person can “buy out” the other person as long as both parties agree too it. Otherwise the asset may be sold and the funds divided. In Maryland the court does not decide what to do about the marital assets to be divided.
Absent an agreement, the division of property is governed by the Marital Property Act. Under the act, all marital property is subject to equitable distribution.
When the court makes an equitable distribution of the property, the court first determines what property belonging to the couple is marital property. It then determines the value of that property.
Finally, the court determines who is entitled to what share of the valued, marital property, taking into account the following factors:
The contributions, monetary and non-monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
The value of all of the property interests of each spouse;
The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the award is to be made;
The circumstances and facts which contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
The duration of the marriage;
The age and physical and mental condition of the parties;
How and when specific marital property was acquired, including the effort expended by each party in accumulating the marital property;
Any award or other provision which the court has made with respect to family use personal property or the family home, and any award of alimony;
Such other factors as the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award; and
The contribution of either party to the acquisition of the property is also considered.
Note - If a home was paid for with marital funds, it is marital property. If all funds used to pay came from a gift to your spouse or from your spouse's inheritance, the house may not be marital property.
The content provided herein is for general information purposes only. This information contained within is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act upon information contained on this site without first seeking advice from an attorney.
Your husband may be entitled to a small monetary award based on any money he has contributed to the home and the equity of any increase in value to the home during the marriage. His share will likely not be much because you owned the home prior to the marriage and have been married for less than 2 years (relatively short amount of time), but he is entitled to a small share.
Answers to questions are not legal advice but information for general use only and do not form an attorney-client relationship.
Your husband may be entitled to some type of award based on his monetary contributions to the household. The court will look at a number of factors to determine the basis for such award. However, your house would be considered non-marital since it was acquired prior to the marriage.
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