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Divorce and Property

Rockville Attorneys Knowledgeable in Family Law Matters

For some couples, the most stressful aspect of a divorce is how property will be divided when the spouses part ways. In some cases, wealthy couples would prefer to keep their financial matters private. It is important to retain a family law attorney who understands how to negotiate divorce and property division with tact and discretion, and who also knows how to fight aggressively for a client's interests in court. At Felsen & Sargent, our Rockville divorce lawyers provide trustworthy legal representation for property division disputes.

Property Division during a Divorce

Maryland is an equitable distribution state. This means that the property division during a divorce will be fair, but it may not necessarily be an even 50-50 split.

The first issue when dividing a couple's property is determining whether the property should be considered marital or separate property. Separate property is property that was owned before the marriage by one spouse or that was acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. A spouse can keep his or her own separate property. Marital property is any other property acquired during the marriage, such as income or real property held by the couple as tenants by the entirety, without any agreement otherwise. Marital property may include bank accounts, the family home, businesses, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, IRAs, pensions, retirement plans, and stocks. The value of a professional license acquired during a marriage is not considered marital property in Maryland.

In some cases, couples have determined what will be marital property ahead of time by drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Assuming the agreement is enforceable, a prenuptial agreement can simplify property division during a divorce. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must be in writing and signed by each spouse after each spouse has given a full disclosure of assets and debts, unless a spouse waived the right to this information. However, sometimes a prenuptial agreement can be challenged on grounds such as fraud, coercion, mistake, undue influence, or unconscionability.

When marital property and separate property have been commingled, the division of property can be particularly complex. It may be necessary to retain experts to trace the funds to determine whether an asset should be treated as marital or separate property. For example, if both spouses pay for a renovation on a house owned separately by one spouse, it may be difficult to determine whether the house should be treated as separate property or marital property. The court applies a source of funds rule to determine the proportions of separate and marital property that have been put into the house.

When spouses cannot make these decisions on their own or through mediation, it may be necessary to present the matter to a judge and make use of professional accountants and appraisers. Sometimes couples keep a family home jointly owned with an agreement to sell the home when the children are done with school.

If a couple cannot come to an agreement, the court will also divide debts accrued during the marriage. These can include credit card debt, medical debt for children, mortgages, or car loans. The court will consider factors like the length of the marriage, any alimony award, the disposition of the family home, each spouse's contributions to the family's wellbeing, each spouse's financial circumstances, each spouse's age and health, and any marital misconduct that contributed to the divorce.

Explore Your Options with a Divorce Lawyer in Rockville

At Felsen & Sargent, our Rockville divorce attorneys can provide legal guidance to spouses concerned about the property division process. We can assist individuals in Silver Spring, Frederick, Upper Marlboro, and communities throughout Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. Call us at (301) 251-4010 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation. We also are available if you need a child custody attorney or assistance in other family law matters.

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Re-Hired Mr. Felsen for His Top Reputation
No lawyer can guarantee results, but some can keep It fair when the deck is stacked against you. I had two cases handled by David and neither resulted in conviction (PBJ). Things looked very dark for awhile, and I feel like I owe it to David to give him an outstanding review because he did get me a good result from which I can move forward.
- Justin
Best attorney East Coast
If I could give David Felsen more than five stars I would. Mr. Felsen changed my life forever and made this year’s Thanksgiving dinner extra special for me and my family. Through his hard work and perseverance Mr. Felsen has given me a chance to start over; he was practically able to clear 12 points from my driver’s license as well as come to an agreement with the persecutor to have 6 serious charges against me dropped.
- Rodrigo
Hired David Felsen to Defend Me In Traffic Court
I ran into David by chance when I was looking for a lawyer to defend me in traffic court. I was immediately impressed with his calm demeanor and ability to quickly size up my case. David was very clear in describing how the process would work and in advising how to best present my case. He followed through in all that he said he would do for me, and I felt very comfortable with his advice. He is a confident, capable advocate and obviously very experienced in court. I was pleased with the outcome and would recommend him to others.
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Absolutely Great Attorney That You Can Trust
Mr. Felsen took my case and helped me get the absolute best outcome that I could get. I have used him a few times now on separate occasions for various legal snafus and he was exceptional each time. He won't sugarcoat the chances of your case, but he will explain it fully in the best terms possible so that you know what's ahead of you. If you hire Mr. Felsen, know that you are getting a lawyer that will do everything he can to get you his client the best deal/verdict that you can get. This is one attorney that you can definitely trust to have your back and protect your reputation.
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Most Amazing lawyer you could get
I got referred to David Felsen last minute and he had literally one day to prepare for my case. He did the best job possible and my case got dismissed. He was definitely the best legal counsel i could get and i would remain forever grateful, his court presence is out of this world and while waiting for my case to be called, he just played spade games on his phone. No sort of anxiety whatsoever. Some of my information wasn't even complete but he still went to court and won it. I think this is the least i could do to describe the exceptional job he did.
- Chris