Does It Matter if My Name is Not on the Deed?

*Marital Property is all property acquired during the marriage except by gift or inheritance and its classification is not directed by title to the property under Maryland family law.

Question: If my name is not on the deed to the family home but the home was purchased during the marriage, do I have any marital interest in the equity of the home?

Answer: Yes. Under the Maryland Family Law Code, property that is acquired during the marriage is considered marital property REGARDLESS of how the property is titled. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if the home was acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party or the home has been excluded as marital property by a valid agreement between the parties then the Court will consider the property to be non-marital. ***************************************************************************
This all sounds very straightforward. However, making these marital property determinations can be more difficult than simply applying the above-stated rule to the facts in your case. Maryland courts have added more complexity (judges would call it clarification rather than complexity) to the rule through their various decisions. For example, Maryland courts have held that property will not be considered “acquired” before marriage unless 100% of the funds used to purchase that property are provided by one person alone from premarital funds. Therefore, a home that has been purchased in part since the date of the marriage will be considered marital property.

I know that may sound like a lot of legal mumbo jumbo so let me boil it down to a simple admonition. DO NOT SIGN A SEPARATION AGREEMENT DIVIDING UP PROPERTY WITHOUT FIRST SEEKING THE ADVICE OF AN Annapolis, MARYLAND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY.