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How does property division work?

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Divorce |

When you decide to divorce your spouse, you will need to start thinking about dividing everything you own. The court will expect a detailed account of how you are splitting your assets.

The idea of dividing up your stuff can be daunting, but you do have guidelines from the court to use. The Connecticut Judicial Branch explains the state follows the rule of equitable distribution, which means fair division of property, not necessarily equal division. With this in mind, here are the rules the court follows.

Classification of property

The first step in property division is to identify marital and separate property. Marital property includes all items you bought or obtained during the marriage. It includes property and even your wages earned from your job. Money you earn and the things you spend that money on during the marriage are also marital assets.

Separate property is that which you owned prior to the marriage and maintained separately during the marriage. For example, if you owned a home before your marriage, but you turned it into the family home, then it is marital property, not separate property. Keep in mind there are some assets that will be separate even if you obtain them during the marriage. These include inheritances and gifts.

Division of property

The actual division of property involves deciding who will get each marital asset. Your separate property remains with whoever owns it. Personal items, such as clothing, will also stay with the owner unless they have an exceptional value that the other spouse wants to split or have.

Property division can become complex. It is not always straightforward, especially if you and your spouse are not in agreement on things. Keep in mind, that if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on all aspects of property division, the court will do it for you.