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.
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
8. Economic fault of one spouse in wasting and dissipating
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
For a very useful article on how a small business is valued
However, as a general rule the Court will divide fairly equally
marital property in the typical marriage setting.
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