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Unlike community property, equitable does not mean equal. Equitable is defined as fair and just under the facts of the particular case. Therefore, the Court has discretion to evaluate each party’s needs and entitlements.
Marital property is property, however titled, which is acquired by one or both of the parties during the marriage, up to the date of divorce (not the date of separation).
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.
Dissipated marital property involves monies or assets which have been wrongfully disposed of before the divorce trial.
Whether you can keep your engagement ring upon divorce depends on when it was acquired.
In Maryland, the Court can award exclusive use and possession of the family home and family use personal property (e.g. household furnishings, family car) to a custodial parent for up to 3 years from the date of divorce.
When property is considered non-marital, the property is excluded from division by the Court upon divorce. However, the value of the property can be considered by the Court as a factor when determining alimony or equitable distribution of marital property.
Before granting a monetary award to one spouse, the Maryland Court must consider 11 factors.
Upon divorce in Maryland, the Court cannot transfer ownership of real or personal property from one spouse to the other. Nor can the Court order the sale of individually owned property. The Court can order the sale of only jointly owned property.
Therefore, one spouse cannot be held liable for the other spouse’s debts. Spouses are jointly liable for debts in their joint names, although the Court cannot require either spouse to satisfy joint debts.
Maryland Courts use different methods to divide pensions between spouses, depending on the type of pension.
In Maryland, stock options granted during the marriage are considered marital property subject to equitable division upon divorce, regardless of whether they are vested or non-vested.
In Maryland, prior to divorce, one spouse cannot force the sale of a jointly owned home, which spouses own as tenants by the entireties.
Divorcing couples are often surprised to learn that their definition of marital property is vastly different than the Court’s definition.
A couple married or living as residents in Maryland for at least one year, or two years depending on the grounds of divorce specified, can file for divorce.
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