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Is My Business Considered Marital Property in Maryland?

In Maryland, the value of a business interest acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, even if it is owned and operated by only one spouse.

Upon divorce, the Court must determine the "fair market value" of a spouse's business interest, which is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, neither being under the compulsion to act and both having reasonable knowledge of all relevant facts.

However, a spouse's "personal goodwill" in the business is their non-marital property, not subject to equitable distribution by the Court. "Personal goodwill" is the part the business value which is directly attributable to the reputation and success of the spouse owner.

Business valuation in divorce is a complex issue in divorce cases, often requiring forensic analysis of business records and expert testimony.


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Maryland Family Law recognizes eight different grounds for divorce. Adultery, voluntary separation (for at least 12 months), imprisonment (with a sentence of at least three years and at least 12 months already served), and living separate and apart (for at least two years), are among some of the reasons. For the court to grant a divorce based upon any of these grounds, they must be proved in court through evidence and testimony.
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