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Do Maryland courts favor the parent with more assets?

Oct 3, 2022 | Firm News

Maryland adheres to an equitable distribution rather than a community property, which means that shared marital property ends up split between the soon-to-be-ex-spouses based on what is fair. However, separate property remains with the original owner.

Separate property may include gifts given solely to one spouse, assets the person came into the marriage with and any inheritance (given there was no mingling of said inheritance with joint accounts or ownership changes). In a high-asset divorce, a person with a great deal of separate property may still end up wealthier than the other party. This also holds true if there is a valid prenuptial agreement. It is then natural to worry that courts may favor wealthier individuals when determining child custody.

Wealth is not the deciding factor

Assets are only a single factor considered by judges when determining child custody and the development of parenting plans. Courts want to create a plan that is in the children’s best interests, and to do so they look at the relationship between the children and the parent, the age of the children, the number of children and the parent’s fitness among other criteria.

Courts do care about parents’ ability to provide

With regards to wealth, judges look more at the parent’s employment and ability to provide than the magnitude of their personal possessions. If a parent does not have a job or a stable home, he or she is less likely to get full custody, for instance.

Courts do not give preference to the richer parent, though they do consider earning ability. They take into account many factors to determine what serves the best interest of the child.



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