Maryland is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court values all marital property and fairly divides it between the parties. Usually an award is 50/50, but it does not have to be equal.
One primary issue in most divorces is the identification and valuation of marital property. Marital property is defined as all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of title. Marital property also includes jointly titled real estate. It does not include:
- Property acquired prior to the marriage;
- Property acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party;
- Property excluded by valid agreement between the parties; or
- Property directly traceable to any of these above sources.
Marital and Non-Marital Assets
More often than not, one party will bring assets into a marriage and/or has obtained an inheritance while married. These funds are considered non-marital and if the parties are divorced, in Maryland, the other party would not be eligible to receive any of it. However, if the inheritance is put in a joint account, these once non-marital funds become either completely marital or partially marital.