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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 law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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