Property Division

Rockville, Maryland Property Division Lawyers

In Maryland, property and assets (including real property and retirements) acquired during the marriage are divided equitably at the time of divorce.  That does not mean the distribution will be an equal (50/50) division.  When making an equitable determination of property, the courts will consider how property is titled, the value of the property, whether liens or debts exist with regard to the property, and whether property is considered non-marital property.

Marital assets can include real estate, bank and investment accounts, retirement accounts and pensions, stocks, vehicles, cash, deferred compensation, jewelry, collectibles, furniture, and furnishings.

Equitable distribution only applies to marital assets.  Non-marital assets, which are not subject to division, include property that was acquired prior to the marriage, acquired by way of inheritance or gift from a third party, excluded by a valid agreement such as a prenuptial agreement, or if the property is directly traceable to any of these sources.

Once the court decides  which property is marital property and its value, the court may transfer ownership of an interest in the property to a party (subject to certain rules), grant a monetary award to a party, or both, for the purpose of adjusting the equities.  A monetary award is a payment of money from one spouse to another, paid either in a lump sum payment or in installments over time to compensate for property that is not subject to transfer or distribution.

When making an equitable division of property, the Courts are governed by Maryland Rule 8-205, which provides in part:

(a)(2) The court may transfer ownership of an interest in:

(i) a pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan, from one party to either or both parties;

(ii) subject to the consent of any lienholders, family use personal property, from one or both parties to either or both parties; and

(iii) subject to the terms of any lien, real property jointly owned by the parties and used as the principal residence of the parties when they lived together, by:

  1. ordering the transfer of ownership of the real property or any interest of one of the parties in the real property to the other party if the party to whom the real property is transferred obtains the release of the other party from any lien against the real property;
  2. authorizing one party to purchase the interest of the other party in the real property, in accordance with the terms and conditions ordered by the court; or
  3. both.

Maryland Rule 8-205(b) provides:

(b) The court shall determine the amount and the method of payment of a monetary award, or the terms of the transfer of the interest in property described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, or both, after considering each of the following factors:

(1) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

(2) the value of all property interests of each party;

(3) the economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made;

(4) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;

(5) the duration of the marriage;

(6) the age of each party;

(7) the physical and mental condition of each party;

(8) how and when specific marital property or interest in property described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, was acquired, including the effort expended by each party in accumulating the marital property or the interest in property described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, or both;

(9) the contribution by either party of property described in § 8-201(e)(3) of this subtitle to the acquisition of real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety;

(10) any award of alimony and any award or other provision that the court has made with respect to family use personal property or the family home; and

(11) any other factor that the court considers necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award or transfer of an interest in property described in subsection (a)(2) of this section, or both.

These issues can be complicated and you will benefit from the experience of the attorneys at Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP.  To schedule a consultation to discuss your marital property issues with an family law attorney, contact us at (240) 386-8705 or fill out our contact form. The Law Firm of Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP provides legal services to residents in Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland including Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Prince George’s County.

The Law Firm of Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP is conveniently located in Rockville, Maryland, near the District and Circuit Courthouses for Montgomery County, Maryland and within walking distance to the Rockville Metro Station on the Red Line. Free parking is also available.