Maryland law indicates that marital property be divided equitably, which may not necessarily be equally. Equitably means answering the following question: what is a fair division of marital property based upon all of the circumstances and facts affecting this couple? Considerations of what factors play a part in deciding what is fair and equitable are outlined in the Annotated code of Maryland, Family Law article, section 8-205. These include:
- the contributions, monetary and non monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
- the value of all property interests of each party;
- the economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made;
- the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
- the duration of the marriage;
- the age of each party;
- the physical and mental condition of each party;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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
- 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.
Often, the answer is that what is fair and equitable IS to divide the marital property equally. A divorce attorney will be able to assist you in exploring whether the facts and circumstances in your case would likely fall under an equal division, or whether some other equitable percentage of distribution of marital property is likely.