In October 1982, Nicholas Innerbichler (plaintiff) co-founded a government contracting company, Technical and Management Services Corporation (TAMSCO). Innerbichler owned 51 percent of TAMSCO. In June 1983, TAMSCO applied for a certification from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). In January 1984, Nicholas married Carole Innerbichler (defendant). TAMSCO was still in its early stages as a company at this time; for fiscal year 1984, TAMSCO earned $188,000 in revenue. In April 1984, TAMSCO received the SBA certification, which enabled TAMSCO to obtain large government contracts. Thereafter, TAMSCO’s value increased dramatically. For fiscal year 1997, TAMSCO earned $51 million in revenue. In 1995, Nicholas moved out of the marital home and filed for divorce. In 1998, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County granted Nicholas divorce based on two years of separation. The circuit court found that Nicholas was primarily responsible for TAMSCO’s increase in value, due to his work in the company during the marriage. The circuit court thus deemed Nicholas’s interest in TAMSCO’s appreciation in value marital property. The circuit court awarded Carole over $2 million, which was approximately half of Nicholas’s share of the appreciation of TAMSCO’s estimated value since the parties’ marriage. Nicholas appealed.