One big point of contention during a divorce is how the marital property will be divided. It's not necessarily because the former couple is being "greedy"—it's just that once you've accumulated certain things over the course of a marriage, it can be scary to imagine beginning a new life without your money or belongings.
Who will get the house? Or what about that big inheritance one spouse got a few years ago? How about the retirement accounts?
If the two former spouses are unable to come to an agreement on their own, Connecticut courts will handle property division using the concept of "equitable distribution." Equitable distribution does not mean that the property will be split 50/50 between the couple; it means that the courts will divide it in whatever way they feel is fair to both parties. The law states that the court can assign either the husband or wife all or any part of the estate.
Connecticut is different from many other states because of the way the law views property and ownership rights. Under Connecticut divorce law, nearly all property is fair game for division. This includes property acquired before the marriage, property that is only in the name of one person, and other assets such as gifts or inheritances.
The court will, however, take many different factors under consideration when dividing up the property. These factors include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Why the marriage ended
- How old each spouse is
- How healthy each spouse is
- The social standing of each spouse
- Occupation, skills, employability, and current income
- Each party's estate
- Needs and liabilities of both spouses
- Future opportunity to earn income and acquire assets
- The contribution of each party to the acquisition, preservation or appreciation of assets
The court will try to be as fair as possible when dividing assets, but if you're really concerned about how things will be split up, you may want to try to work with your former spouse through mediation to resolve things on your own terms.
Sometimes, however, you can’t trust your soon-to-be ex-spouse to keep your best interests in mind. When that happens, you need to have a strong advocate by your side to keep an eye on the outcome you desire. If you are considering divorce in Connecticut, contact Groton's the Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., by calling 860-445-8521 for a free consultation.