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What is Marital Property?
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).
Marital property does not include property: 1) acquired before the marriage, 2) acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party (other than your spouse), 3) excluded by valid agreement (e.g. Pre-Nuptial or Separation Agreement), or 4) directly traceable to any of these sources.
Absent a valid agreement, marital property automatically includes real property held as "tenants by the entireties," such as the family home. However, the Court will consider any non-marital contributions made toward the purchase of the home when determining an equitable division of property upon divorce.
It is important to distinguish between marital and non-marital property because the Court can equitably divide only "marital" property between spouses.
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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