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How Long Can I stay in The Family Home Upon Divorce?
In Maryland, the Court can award exclusive use and possession of the family home and family use personal property (e.g. household furnishings, family car) to a custodial parent for up to 3 years from the date of divorce.
Absent agreement of the parties, use and possession orders automatically terminate upon remarriage of the party awarded use and possession or upon the youngest child of the parties attaining the age of majority.
The Court must consider certain factors to award use and possession, including the child's best interests, a spouse's interest in using the home for business and any hardship on the other spouse.
In order to be awarded use and possession, the home must have been the parties' principal residence before separation, be owned or leased by one of the parties, be used by one of the parties and a minor child of the parties, not including a stepchild, and the parent awarded use and possession must have custody of at least one minor child of the parties.
Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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