If the parties to a divorce cannot agree on the division of their marital property, a judge will divide their assets based on the theory of equitable distribution, which divides property based on fairness rather than fashioning an even split. In other words, the court will look at each party’s access to assets and income, their financial needs post-divorce, what assets exists, and what each party’s contributions were to the acquisition of those assets to determine an equitable division of a couple’s property.
For help with understanding how different types of property may be treated in a divorce case, consult with a New Haven lawyer who is familiar with asset division in local courts.
Real estate is generally divided by having one party buy the other out of their share of the property. Where the property is secured by a mortgage, the party retaining the asset would have to refinance the loan to remove the other party ’s name from the obligation. The party being bought out would execute a quitclaim deed conveying for interest in the title to the other party.
Alternatively, the real estate property may be sold and thereafter the net proceeds divided according to an equitable percentage, whether that is 50-50 or some other number based on the facts of the case.
Like any other divorce or any other asset, the value of the investment needs to be assessed, and then that value needs to be distributed according to an equitable percentage. A court will examine the type of investment and how best to accomplish a division.
If there is only one party’s name on the investment, the court will look at whether they can offset the other party’s entitlement to a portion of the investment – either with funds or with other assets. In these ways, investments are considered like any other asset that needs to be equitably divided upon divorce.
The value of a rental property and what equity exists therein is going to be subject to division upon divorce. What happens to the generated rental income depends on whether there was net profit. For example, if it was used to pay the expenses on the property, there might not be a net profit, meaning there may be nothing to divide. Otherwise, the net profit of the rental income would factor into an alimony analysis.
Retirement assets are typically considered marital property and would be subject to division in the event of a divorce. Specifically, any funds added to a retirement account or appreciation of values during the marriage may be distributed between both parties, depending on the couple’s circumstances.
Generally, tax refunds are subject to division in New Haven. If the parties are filing taxes for a year that they were married up until the last day of that year, any tax refund for that year is generally considered marital property and should be equitably divided.
Pensions are retirement plans offered by an employer, and a person becomes entitled to a certain pension plan depending on their years of service. When it comes time for them to retire, they can collect on their pension, the amount of which is earned over the course of their employment.
A spouse may receive a percentage of the pension funds added to their ex’s retirement during the course of their marriage if they can prove a need for or entitlement to such assets.
Dividends are paid through stock ownership. Royalties are paid to compensate a property owner for the use of a certain asset, whether that is intellectual property or some other products they have sold. Similar to other divisible types of property, dividends earned from stocks that were purchased during marriage may be subject to division upon divorce, as well as royalties paid for the use of a marital asset.
While gifts and inheritances are treated differently from other assets acquired based on income and work, it does not mean that they cannot be divided. When one party’s separately owned assets are utilized during a marriage, they may become “comingled” and vulnerable to the court’s distribution of assets.
It is best to work with an attorney to ensure your property rights are protected throughout your divorce. For more details on what types of property may be divisible in New Haven and how the court addresses each of them, get in touch with a lawyer at our firm.