A divorce requires dividing any and all property owned between the two spouses. When a couple has complex finances or if the divorce is high conflict, property division can be a stressful and time-consuming exercise.

Your property settlement sets the tone for your life as a single person after divorce. A Fairfield property division lawyer has the expertise and skills to ensure you receive a fair share of the marital property. Retain a family attorney from our firm to guide you through this process.

Identifying the Marital Property

The first step in property division is identifying all the marital property. Spouses must disclose all their holdings to each other during the divorce process. An attorney in Fairfield can help a spouse prepare their disclosure and verify their spouse’s disclosure in a property division case.

Anything either spouse owns is marital property. Whose money paid for it and the name on the title or registration is irrelevant. The only exception to this rule is if the couple entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that protected certain assets as separate property, in which case a spouse would be entitled to retain their designated separate property. When a couple has a marital agreement defining their separate property, a court will usually honor its terms absent a finding of unconscionability.

Agreeing on a Value for the Marital Property

Once all the marital property is identified, it must be valued. When marital property includes real estate, interests in a business, collectables such as art or antiques, establishing the value can be contentious.

Each spouse’s disclosure assigns a value to their property. The spouse may have had an appraisal to determine its value. If the other spouse does not agree with the assigned value, they may hire their own appraiser. Using that information, the spouses negotiate a value for property division purposes.

A Fairfield lawyer has a network of valuation experts and appraisers with expertise in identifying and valuing various forms of property. An accurate valuation is key to a fair property settlement.

Achieving a Fair Division

Martial property does not need to be split 50/50. The law requires property division to be fair, but not necessarily equal.

Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-81(c) requires a court to consider specific factors when deciding on a fair distribution, including the following:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age, health, and income
  • Each spouse’s employment history and future earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s contributions to acquiring and maintaining the marital property

A judge can also consider the reason for the divorce and other factors they deem relevant, including tax implications, when making property division decisions.

The judge can order certain property to be sold to achieve an equitable distribution. Couples often benefit from negotiating a property settlement rather than leaving it to a judge to decide. A Fairfield attorney can refer a couple to a skilled mediator or negotiate with their counterpart to achieve a property division settlement that is acceptable to both parties.

Work With a Fairfield Attorney to Achieve a Satisfactory Property Settlement

Property division can get complicated, and often triggers emotional responses. Even couples with firm intentions to have an amicable divorce can stumble when negotiating a property settlement. A Fairfield property division lawyer can use their knowledge and skills to ensure you leave your marriage with the resources to move forward and thrive. Reach out today to speak with a skilled attorney.

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