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How Does Maryland Treat Property Division After Divorce?


Property division can be one of the most important aspects of a Maryland divorce. In this context, marital property refers to anything a couple acquires during their marriage with a few exceptions. The term “marital property” does exclude certain things, such as third-party gift or inheritance.

In the course of pursuing a divorce, the parties involved can reach mutual agreement as to property division. But in many cases, the Maryland courts get involved to evaluate marital property and determine a fair and balanced division of such property.

How Does Maryland Divide Marital Property?

Before dividing marital property under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 8-205, the state courts must first determine:

  • Which property qualifies as marital property; and
  • The value of any marital property.

At that point, Section 8-205 enables the Maryland courts to:

  • Transfer ownership interest in marital property;
  • Grant a monetary award; or
  • Realize both of the actions above.

Furthermore, Section 8-205 enables the Maryland court to transfer ownership of an interest in any:

  • Pension, retirement, profit-sharing, or deferred compensation plan from one party to either or both parties;
  • Family use personal property from one party to either or both parties; or
  • Real property jointly owned by the parties and used as their principal residence when living together.

In terms of transferring ownership of a principal residence, the Maryland courts may:

  • Order the transfer of ownership from one party to the other party;
  • Authorize one party to purchase the other party’s interest in such real property; or
  • Realize both of the actions above.

What are the Required Considerations for Dividing Marital Property?

As noted above, property division under Section 8-205 can occur via ownership transfer or monetary award. Before granting a transfer or award, however, Section 8-205 requires the Maryland courts to consider all of the factors below:

  • The financial contributions each party made to the marriage;
  • The non-monetary contributions each party made to the marriage;
  • The value of each party’s property interests;
  • The financial circumstances of each party at the time of property division;
  • The reasons that led to divorce and the estrangement of the parties;
  • The length of time the parties were married;
  • The age, mental condition, and physical health of each party;
  • The conditions under which the parties acquired marital property, including the efforts expended by each party;
  • The contributions by either party in the acquisition of any real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety;
  • The award of alimony or possession and use of the family home or any family use personal property; and
  • Any other factors the court deems necessary or appropriate to consider in the context of dividing property in a fair and balanced manner.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you need legal assistance with property division after a Maryland divorce, the Bel Air divorce attorneys Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered can help. Reach out to us today for help.

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