How is Property Divided in a Maryland or Washington, D.C. Divorce?

Property is Divided 50/50, Right?

Not necessarily!  The law in D.C. and in Maryland provides for "equitable distribution" of property, not "equal division" of property.  

How does the Court decide what's equitable?  It looks at a number of factors set forth by statute.

In Maryland, these factors are:

(1) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

(2) the value of all property interests of each party;

(3) the economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made;

(4) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;

(5) the duration of the marriage;

(6) the age of each party;

(7) the physical and mental condition of each party;

(8) how and when specific marital property or interest in property... was acquired, including the effort expended by each party in accumulating the marital property or the interest in property...;

(9) the contribution by either the acquisition of real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety;

(10) 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

(11) 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....


To settle a case, however, 50/50 is often a good place to start.


This is not legal advice. Please read our "disclaimer" to understand why this information is not a substitute for legal advice.