It is never easy to have to split your property with someone else, but some things are harder to walk away from than others. Leaving a home feels like walking away from memories, leaving a dog feels like losing a family member and being forced to spend time away from children can be just about unbearable. While it stings to have to divide financial assets, at least there is no emotional attachment to the money itself. If a Connecticut couple cannot come to an agreement on the division of their assets during their divorce, the court will do it for them.
Connecticut is an equitable division state. This means that all the assets are divided fairly, but not necessarily evenly, between the divorcing spouses. Instead, the courts treat each case separately and divide the property based on a variety of factors, including the length of marriage, financial and supportive contributions of each spouse, current and future incomes and the reasons for divorce.
Assets are divided into two types: marital property and separate property. Marital property is anything that was acquired during the marriage. The courts view this property as being owned by both parties because the spouses were working as a unit to acquire everything that was gained during the course of the marriage. Separate property is anything either spouse owned prior to the marriage. It can also include gifts and inheritances because those items were given to a specific person, not the couple.
There are times when separate property can become marital property. When separate property is commingled with marital property it too becomes marital property. This occurs when bank accounts are combined or when inheritance money is used to purchase something for the marriage. Connecticut, unlike many other states will sometimes divide marital property as well as separate property. This means that all assets, including inheritances and gifts, are subject to division.
While the division of financial assets is not emotional in the same way the division of other property is, it can still be very stressful. An experienced divorce attorney can alleviate much of this stress by carefully guiding his or her client through the entire process. This can help a client understand how best to protect his or her assets and minimize the stress of the entire process.