How you divide your property in a divorce can significantly impact your lifestyle and overall well-being after it is finalized. Regardless of how large or small your marital estate may be, a capable Guilford property division lawyer can protect your right to a fair share of your assets. Our dedicated family attorneys understand that facing an uncertain financial future can be overwhelming and stand ready to help you obtain an equitable property award.
Connecticut law defines marital property as an asset purchased or acquired before or during a couple’s marriage, and is considered the joint property of the spouses regardless of whose name is on the title. While not the case in all states, a Connecticut judge will consider assets obtained prior to the marriage to be part of the marital estate.
Marital property includes obvious assets like cars and houses. However, retirement, business interests, investment portfolios, and stock accounts can also fall into that category. A person facing marriage dissolution in Guilford is well-advised to consult a skilled lawyer to understand the state’s marital property and division laws.
Under Connecticut General Statutes §46(b)-81, courts have broad authority to divide a couple’s assets in a divorce. Family court judges may apportion all or any part of the marital estate to each spouse in whatever manner they deem fair. To effectuate an equitable property division, the court may also transfer property between the spouses or order the sale of an asset.
Because Connecticut is considered an “all property distribution state,” all the couple’s property, including what each spouse acquired before or inherited after they married, is considered marital. To determine a fair division of assets, a court can consider numerous statutory factors, including but not limited to the marriage’s duration and each party’s:
To better advise a Guilford party of the likelihood of retaining a specific asset during the division, a dedicated attorney can engage in pretrial discovery. The discovery process enables parties and their counsel to fully ascertain the extent and value of the marital estate before the final divorce hearing.
Some states prohibit judges from considering marital fault when dividing a couple’s property. However, Connecticut law allows a judge to award one party a more significant share of the marital estate based on their assessment of the other party’s fault during the marriage. As such, marital misconduct can substantially impact a final property award to the dismay of the at-fault spouse.
For example, if a spouse committed adultery and used marital funds to support their paramour, a court may grant the innocent spouse more of the net proceeds of the marital home upon its sale. Because fault is a valid consideration in a divorce, individuals should seek competent legal counsel to determine the impact of filing for divorce on fault-based grounds.
Perhaps you and your spouse have had trouble in your marriage and are considering divorce, or you may have already initiated proceedings and want to better understand your rights going forward.
Regardless of where you are in the legal process, it is vital to seek competent representation from a Guilford property division lawyer to maximize your property settlement. Our legal team has significant experience in Connecticut law and court procedures and can ensure that your case is handled correctly from the initial consultation through the final divorce decree. Call the office today.