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"Use and Possession" Rights in Maryland Divorce Law


The law stated on this web site is for general information only, could change without notice at any time, and is not to be used to replace legal advice.   Reading the information on this site and/or sending us an e-mail or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship.   Family Law varies greatly from state to state and the information on this web site is in regard to Maryland Family Law only.


Maryland Family Law is drawn from the sources of the Maryland Code, Maryland Court Rules, and Maryland Case Law.     The Maryland Family Law court system is complex and Maryland Family Law requires Judges to consider many variables and laws before making a decision in each Family Law case.   Individual laws cannot be fully comprehended without understanding how they interact with each other and within the elaborate Maryland Family Law Court system, and trying to interpret individual laws without understanding how they each interact with each other and within this system could decrease the chance of achieving an outcome favorable to you in your case.



8-206 Family home; family use personal property -- Legislative policy

The court shall exercise its powers under 8-207 through 8-213 of this subtitle:

(1)   to enable any child of the family to continue to live in the environment and community that are familar to the child; and

(2)   to provide for the continued occupancy of the family home and possession and use of family use property by a party with custody of a child who has a need to live in that home.



8-208 Award of possession and use; standards; order or decree; allocation of financial responsibilities

(a)   Award of possession and use --

        (1) When the court grants an annulment or a limited or absolute divorce, regardless of how the family home or family use personal property is titled, owned, or leased, the court may:
                (i) decide that one of the parties shall have the sole possession and use of that property, or
                (ii) divide the possession and use of the property between the parties.
The court may exercise the powers pendente lite.

(b)   Required considerations -- In awarding the possession and use of the family home and family use personal property, the court shall consider each of the following factors:

        (1)   the best interest of any child of the parties;
        (2)   the interest of each party in continuing
                (i) to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it as a dwelling place; or
                (ii) to use the family use personal property or any part of it, or to occupy or use the family home or any part of it for the production of income; and
        (3)   any hardship imposed on the party whose interest in the family home or family use personal property is infringed on by an order issued under 8-207 through 8-213 of this subtitle.

(c)   Allocation of financial responsibilities -- The court may order or decree that either or both of the parties pay all or any part of:
        (1) any mortgage payments or rent;
        (2) any indebtedness that is related to the property;
        (3) the cost of maintenance, insurance, assessments, and taxes; or
        (4) any similiar expenses in connection with the property.

(d)   Effect of award of sole possession and use -- An order giving a party the sole possession and use of the family home under subsection (a) of this section does not affect the right of the other party to claim the family home as that party's principal residence for tax purposes.



8-210 Termination of Order or Decree

(a)   Time limitation --

        (1)   In any order or decree, or any modification of an order or decree, a provision that concerns the family home or family use personal property shall terminate no later than three years after the date on which the court grants an annulment or a limited or absolute divorce.

        (2)   The 3-year limitation set out in paragraph (1) of this subsection applies to a limited divorce notwithstanding the subsequent granting of an absolute divorce.

(b)   Remarriage of party with possession or use of property - Subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, in any order or decree, or any modification of an order or decree, a provision that concerns the family home or family use personal property shall terminate when the party with the possession or use of the property remarries.

(c)   Treatment of property --When a provision that concerns the family home or family use personal property terminates, the court shall treat the property as marital property if the property qualifies as marital property, and adjust the equities and rights of the parties concerning the property as set out in 8-2-5 of this subtitle.