Niroo v. Niroo
Maryland Court of Appeals
545 A.2d 35 (1988)
David and Mojgan Niroo were married in 1977. In 1978, Mr. Niroo began working as an insurance salesman and made commissions on policies sold. During the marriage, Mr. Niroo became a manager and entered into an agreement entitling him to receive future commissions on certain insurance policies if and when they were renewed, with certain conditions, including a covenant not to compete and a required renewal volume. Mr. Niroo also received advances from insurance companies that were considered loans and chargeable against future renewal commissions. Mr. Niroo argued that future commissions should not be classified as marital property due to the speculative and contingent nature of the renewals, that the commissions could only be realized through future work to be performed after the marriage was dissolved, and that he would be unfairly penalized if the commissions were not actually realized. Evidence at trial showed that a significant percentage of these insurance policies were automatically renewed annually. The trial court for the divorce found that Mr. Niroo’s interest in future renewal commissions was marital property valued at $410,000, but that advances in the amount of $267,000 that Mr. Niroo owed were not marital debt but economic circumstances. The trial court made a monetary award of $200,000 to Ms. Niroo. Mr. Niroo appealed on the grounds that the renewal commissions were not marital property and the advances should reduce any value assigned to the commissions.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, C.J.)
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