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Maryland : Equitable Distribution Vs. Community Property

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By Stuart H. Grozbean

Our family law section is headed by STUART H. GROZBEAN. Mr. Grozbean was named to "Who's Who" in 1998, 1999, 2000. He is now a life member of "Who's Who", a prestigious national recognition of outstanding professionals in the United States. He is also the developer of the child support guidelines program in Maryland. His program is widely used by Judges, Masters and Lawyers in  Maryland.

 Mr. Grozbean has been quoted in the Washington Post, USA Today and  on the various television and news channels.

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:

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.

 

 

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