In a community property state, community property is presumed to be jointly owned and as a result it is divided equally during a divorce. Maryland is an equitable distribution state so title doesn’t determine whether property is marital or not. Also marital property does not have to be distributed equally, only fairly and equitably. The first step in equitable distribution is to identify all of the marital property that the parties have acquired during the marriage. The second step is to value the marital property.
Once all the marital property is identified and valued, we look at the total marital property titled in each spouse’s name. If there is an unequal distribution of the marital property in one spouse’s name, then we can make a monetary award regarding property settlement to the spouse that has less marital property titled in his or her name.
Vince Wills and Christina DeVault are divorce attorneys from Maryland. A Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Vince has co-authored numerous published articles on family law topics. Super Lawyers has named him as a top attorney for Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area. Christina’s practice includes representing clients at all stages of family law, helping her clients make important decisions with confidence.