You may not have young children. Your and your spouse’s respective incomes and finances may eliminate the need for alimony. But if you are seeking a divorce in Connecticut, you will have to discuss how to divide property – everything from Aunt Beth’s heirloom spoon collection to your frequent flyer miles to the family business.
Dividing marital property involves splitting both assets and debts. Although Connecticut law requires this division to be “equitable,” it doesn’t have many hard and fast rules about who should get what.
Here’s what you need to know about property division in Connecticut.
- Connecticut is an “equitable distribution” state.
In other words, Connecticut divorce courts aim to split assets and debts in a way that leaves each of the divorcing spouses on roughly equal footing with the other – which doesn’t necessarily mean the assets and debts will be split equally. Questions the court might ask include:
- How long were the spouses married?
- Are there any children? How many? How old are they? What are their financial needs? Which parent will they live with?
- What kind of income does each spouse have?
- What is each spouse’s earning potential post-marriage?
- Did one spouse stay home to raise the kids?
All these elements play a role in how property is divided.
- (Nearly) everything is up for grabs.
Most equitable distribution states consider property in the name of one spouse or the other to belong to that spouse. Connecticut courts, however, are less interested in who has the title to the house, car, retirement account, or credit card. State law also doesn’t distinguish between property you owned before marriage and property you acquired after tying the knot. If you or your spouse has it, it’s probably on the table.
- You and your spouse may create a property division agreement.
Most Connecticut divorces don’t go to trial. Instead, the divorcing couple works out how to split marital property on their own, with their lawyers, and possibly with the help of professionals like mediators, appraisers or accountants. The law provides plenty of leeway to create an agreement that works for you both, as long as it is equitable.
If the list above left you with more questions than answers, you’re not alone. Property division can lead to complex discussions on subjects as wide ranging as taxes, business succession, estate planning and home ownership. By working with experienced family law attorneys, you can divide property in a way that supports your plans and goals for the future. Contact our team today to learn more at (860) 560-8160.
For more information, check out some of our blog posts on the topic:
Understanding the Key Differences Between a Connecticut Legal Separation and a Divorce
6 Preemptive Strategies to Protect Your Business From Divorce
Top Four Financial Benefits To Filing First For Divorce
Cohabitation After Divorce: Living with a New Partner Can Impact Alimony