Maryland Divorce & Finances

Splitting up joint finances may be one of the most unpleasant and potentially confusing aspects of a divorce. It’s quite natural to have a number of questions and concerns. How will you divide the property that was jointly owned? What will the tax ramifications be? Are there also some estate planning issues that will need to be resolved? What about spousal support payments, and the potential parameters of those? The following headings discuss some laws specific to Maryland divorce and finances.

Maryland Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Maryland is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that marital property will be distributed on terms considered by the court to be “fair.” Remember that this does not necessarily mean that the distribution will be equal. In the adjudication of equitable distribution, the court will consider, among other factors, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

Maryland Spousal Support:

There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance or alimony), it is done on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support;
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education/training for that employment;
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  4. Marriage duration;
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance; and
  6. The ability of the proposed paying spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse.

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