Category Archives: Marital Property

Property acquired during marriage irrespective of title. Does not include gifts or inheritance. Includes real estate, home, pension, retirement and business

Interstate Comparison Community Property in Maryland

Community Property in Maryland Divorces

The divorce and custody laws of each state in the United States vary, even though the issues remain the same. (Probably the same all over the world)

Therefore is is sometimes nice to be a divorce and custody lawyer because the underlying issues have been the same since Adam and Eve. Thus, if there is a dirty trick employed by the other side, there is somebody somewhere who has thought of it first.

The disposition of property is almost universally at issue in any divorce.  Sometimes the property issue is a “stuff” issue such as, who gets this or that lamp, picture, china, sofa etc………  Other times is is very significant items like a house, bank accounts, retirements etc.

Maryland is an equitable property State.  While marital property is defined and usually represents all property (however titled) the values, spousal entitlement to the property is equitably based.  That means a person is not automatically required  to pay half value to the other spouse.  It can be 1%-99% (usually 50%) and the percentages and value are what the court thinks “fair” ie. “equitable.

States that use “community property” are in the minority of our United States.  Community property is therefore a term that Maryland and other state courts do not even use.  Yet, California is among those states that identify “community property” and so the term has permeated TV, films, grocery store magazines and reality shows.  Hence, it is a common part of our cultural vocabulary.

The following are apparently community property states:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington State and Wyoming.  I know absolutely nothing else about property distribution in any of those states.  My actual legal knowledge and license are limited to Maryland.

From what I can tell, in Community property states the ownership of marital property is deemed 50/50 and the value of its distribution is deemed to be a fifty percent (50%) to each spouse.  In contrast to Maryland, it is not a percentage that can be chosen or adjusted by the courts based on fairness and circumstances or equitable factors such as those spelled out in the Maryland Family Law Code Sections 8-201-8-214.

I can only surmise that the community property states must have some legal way to offset the draconian result of an arbitrary “half and half” in every case.  My only authority for that is the dearth of celebrities setting up home base in Frederick, Maryland.  Yet, having read this comparison, they may be on their way as we speak 🙂

Tim Conlon Esquire at

The Divorce Place

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Carroll County Maryland Divorce Retirements as Marital Property

Retirements, IRA’s, 401k’s, 403b’s and Pensions are all marital property and as such a judge can redistribute those funds in a Carroll County Maryland Divorce.  (Even if a spouse removed the money) In a Mount Airy and Westminster Maryland, divorce retirements or pension entitlements are marital property just like tangible items or savings accounts.  A… Continue Reading

Can I be Awarded The Marital Home ?

Can I be Awarded The Marital Home ? Prior to 2008, divorce lawyers were presented with the common scenario whereby, both the wife and husband wanted to keep the house as part of their divorce.  Today spouses fight over who will get stuck with the house.  A striking sign of our times. At the time… Continue Reading

Marital Property in Maryland – The Monetary Award

Community Property vs The Equitable Distribution Standard When granting an absolute divorce the Maryland family law court is often called upon to “adjust inequities” in marital property. The Maryland standard for adjustment of property rights in a divorce and an award of any money or property charges the judge to make: “equitable” determinations and adjustments… Continue Reading

Property and Alimony in a Maryland Divorce

Property and Alimony Hollywood divorces seem to be a preoccupation of Americans in general and of American Women in particular.  One needs merely to walk through a grocery checkout line or turn on the television to see the latest, biggest, ugliest or most scandalous divorce in Hollywood history. Custody and divorce lawyers in Frederick, Maryland… Continue Reading