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What is Non-Marital Property?

"Non-marital" property in Maryland is property: 1) acquired before the marriage; 2) acquired by inheritance or gift from a 3rd party (other than a spouse); 3) excluded by valid agreement (e.g. a Pre-Nuptial or Separation Agreement); or 4) directly traceable to any of these sources.

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.

The burden of proving the existence of non-marital property, and tracing the property to its original source, is on the party asserting the claim. When non-marital property has been commingled with marital property (e.g. with funds in a joint account or by improving or purchasing a marital home), the ability to directly trace the non-marital property is more difficult.


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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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