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Is Maryland a Community Property State?
No, Maryland is not a "community" property state. It is an "equitable distribution" state.
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.
When determining the equitable distribution of property upon divorce, the Court must perform 3 steps: 1) identify the marital property, 2) value the marital property, and 3) 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.
Although equitable does not mean equal, often the equal division of assets in divorce is found to be the equitable result.
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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