Equitable distribution is a system of splitting the assets and debts of a marriage in a way that takes into consideration the future financial situation of each spouse post-divorce. Equitable distribution only distributes marital property, which is joint-owned property or property acquired during the marriage. It does consider separate property as a part of the future financial situation of each partner.
Some factors of equitable distribution are objective, such as the length of the marriage and the relative health and ability to earn an income of each person. However, some factors are subjective. If one person is very ill, for example, the court will have to assume there will be no income after the divorce for this person.
Equitable distribution may be more fair than a 50-50 split, but it’s always better to try to reach a point of agreement with your ex spouse and avoid a court order. States that don’t use equitable distribution use a method called community property instead.
A Howard County, Maryland family law attorney can provide more information about how equitable distribution works within the state.