Establishing an appropriate property division in a divorce can be stressful and time-consuming. When one or both spouses have an ownership interest in a business, the process can become much more complicated. Before making any decisions, it is crucial to consult with a practiced property division attorney with experience handling the nuances surrounding business law.

Property and business divisions in Upper Marlboro or Largo require a well-versed lawyer who understands business valuation, taxation, and other relevant issues that can arise in the negotiation process. The legal professionals at Carmiece Graves Law could help support you thoroughly through this process to ensure your interests are represented.

Relevant Categories of Property in Divorce

Maryland requires that marital property be divided equitably. When a judge makes a decision regarding property distribution, they analyze the contributions each spouse made to the marriage and each spouse’s ability to provide for themselves after the marriage. The judge divides the property in a way that seems fair and does not afford one spouse a markedly more comfortable lifestyle than the other spouse.

Usually, a judge does not need to decide these issues. The couple or their attorneys negotiate most property and business division settlements in Upper Marlboro and Largo. When deciding how to split property, each spouse must understand what property is subject to division and why it is.

Separate Property

Anything a spouse owned before marrying is their separate property unless it was blended. Gifts to one spouse from third parties and inheritances received by one spouse are also separate. Each spouse can keep their separate property, and its value is not subject to division.

Marital Property

According to Maryland Family Law Code § 8-201(e), marital property is anything either spouse acquired separately during the marriage and everything the couple acquired together. Each spouse has an equal interest in all marital property regardless of who paid for it and how the item is titled.

Commingled Property

Sometimes, a spouse can acquire an interest in another’s separate property. For example, if a spouse used marital funds to renovate a condo they owned before marriage, the other spouse gains an interest in the condo. When a spouse enters marriage with a retirement account, the value of the account at the time of marriage remains with the original owner, but the other spouse has an interest in the contributions the owner made after marriage and the account’s increase in value during the marriage.

Business Ownership Can Complicate Property Division

When a spouse starts or becomes interested in a business after marriage, the other spouse has a financial interest. Each spouse could be entitled to half the business, even if only one spouse was involved. If a spouse had an interest in a business before marriage, the other spouse only has an interest in the increase in its value during the marriage.

Valuing a business is a critical step in divorce, and the valuation process is often controversial. There are several legitimate ways of valuing a business that might produce different results. Working with an attorney familiar with the various methods and their implications in a specific case is essential. A business does not need to be divided in a divorce in Upper Marlboro, but the other spouse must get a fair payment for their interest in it. Making a fair division requires considering issues like tax implications, future liabilities, and the business’ potential for growth.

Negotiated Agreements Provide More Control Over the Results

Couples benefit when they can negotiate the distribution of property and business interests. Doing so puts control over the process in their hands rather than leaving it to the whims of a judge who may or may not fully understand the issues involved.

Prudent fiancées could enter a premarital agreement describing how they will divide their property if they divorce. Married couples could also create a post-nuptial agreement regarding property division and distribution of the interests in a business. A skilled attorney could assist a couple with a marital agreement.

When the couple has decided to end their marriage, they could work with an Upper Marlboro mediator to reach an equitable agreement on property and business division. Even when spouses have trouble communicating effectively, a mediator can often help them find a consensus to avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial.

Get Help With Property and Business Distribution From an Upper Marlboro Attorney

Property and business division in Upper Marlboro requires input from business evaluators, tax experts, appraisers, and well-practiced lawyers. You should work with a diligent attorney with a sophisticated grasp of the relevant issues that must be accounted for when considering crucial business and property concerns.

The experienced legal team at Carmiece Graves Law understands how crucial appropriate property division can be to your ability to move forward after divorce. Schedule an initial consultation with a determined lawyer today to learn how we could help you.