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Dividing the burial plot in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2022 | Family Law

This can include virtually any asset the spouses acquired during the marriage, including cars, bank accounts, real estate and retirement accounts. In some cases, it can even mean a burial plot.

In many respects, the burial plot is unique and the way that it is handled when it comes to property division may also have to be handled differently from the way other marital property is divided.

One of the issues that makes a burial plot unique is the fact that the land in which the person is buried is not owned by either spouse. The only thing that the spouses actually own is a reserved spot on land that is owned by someone (or something) else. That reservation is only valid as long as the burial spot remains in that particular cemetery. From the legal perspective, the people who act as administrators of that particular cemetery have a responsibility to follow specific laws regarding who is allowed to be buried in a particular spot.

Married couples commonly buy joint burial plots in a particular cemetery

If a married couple buys burial plots in both of their names, in the event of the death of one of the spouses, the remaining spouse will become the sole owner of the plot. However, if the couple divorces and starts to divide their assets as part of the divorce settlement, it is easy to forget about the burial plot as one of the assets that needs to be considered in the asset division. The situation may become difficult if the spouses do not address the division of that particular asset.

If neither spouse releases their ownership of the plot to the other, they will still own it after the divorce is final. That can cause a great deal of conflict between the ex-spouses. Additionally, it can cause a lot of conflict for the children of the ex-spouses as well. If a decision is not reached about the plot’s ownership when both ex-spouses are still alive, the decision will be on the entire family.

Valuable legal advice

If you are in such a situation, the advice of a knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney may make your case much easier and less complicated than if you were trying to handle it alone. It is essential that the assets between the spouses are divided fairly and that each person walks away feeling that the division was done respectfully and honorably.