Maryland: Equitable Distribution Vs. Community Property

April 22, 2018 - By: Stuart H. Grozbean


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:

  1. First, they identify and determine what is marital property
  2. Next, they determine the value of marital property
  3. 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.
  4. Earning power of the spouses compared to the other Spouse
  5. Separate property of the spouses
  6. One spouse having done all the work to acquire the property or inherited the property
  7. The value that one spouse contributed as the home-maker for the family
  8. Economic fault of one spouse in wasting and dissipating marital property
  9. Duration of the marriage
  10. Age and relative health of the spouses
  11. The responsibility for providing for children of the marriage
  12. 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.