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At the time that the court awards an absolute divorce, the court may divide a pension, retirement account or other tangible property that was acquired during the marriage.
This property division is called a monetary award. A monetary award is based on the net value of each item of marital property that was acquired during the marriage, regardless of how it is titled. There are certain exceptions to the definition of marital property.
The court must abide by the following three-step process:
- Identify marital property.
- Value the marital property at the time of the divorce less the cost of acquisition.
- Apply the guidelines set forth in the Family Law Article. Those guidelines include the age of the parties, the health of the parties, the parties' individual financial status, the length of the marriage and other factors.
Then the court would determine whether or not it would be equitable to divide the property according to title or to grant one party a monetary award to adjust an inequity.
The court may also determine how the monetary award is to be paid.
Finally, the court may transfer the title to certain kinds of property from one former spouse to the other.
For more information on property division or family law, please feel free to contact us or schedule a free legal consultation with E. David Silverberg, an experienced family law attorney in Baltimore County, Maryland.
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