Maryland: Equitable Distribution Vs. Community Property
MARYLAND IS AN “EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION STATE”
What is, in plain English, the difference between a “community property state” and an “equitable distribution state”. In a community property state, the marital property is generally split 50/50. However, Maryland follows equitable distribution rules which means the Court does not have to divide everything equally.
Here is what the Court looks at:
- First, they identify and determine what is marital property
- Next, they determine the value of marital property
- Finally, they decide whether or not to grant a monetary award and/or divide the marital pension assets as an adjustment of the equities and rights of the parties.
- Earning power of the spouses compared to the other Spouse
- Separate property of the spouses
- One spouse having done all the work to acquire the property or inherited the property
- The value that one spouse contributed as the home-maker for the family
- Economic fault of one spouse in wasting and dissipating marital property
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and relative health of the spouses
- The responsibility for providing for children of the marriage
- Spousal abuse or marital infidelity (to penalize the offending spouse).
For a very useful article on how a small business is valued during divorce
However, as a general rule, the Court will divide fairly equally marital property in the typical marriage setting.