Divorce is rarely a pleasant undertaking, especially when two people have been married for some time, have children, or have considerable assets that have been accumulated during their union. Custody, alimony and support issues can put an emotional charge into a divorce as a couple works through issues. In addition, trying to divide assets equitably can be a trying ordeal.
Under Connecticut law, property acquired during a marriage is subject to equitable distribution. It should be noted that equitable does not mean equal, it means what is fair in the context of the marriage. Judges are given a fair amount of leeway to decide exactly what fair is.
An attorney can work with one or both spouses in a divorce to help resolve any conflicts early on, so that when a plan is presented to a judge, a couple already has a good idea of which spouse will receive which asset, as long it is deemed fair by the presiding judge.
Two Basic Categories of Assets
The courts will separate assets into two categories. Real property consists of actual buildings, such as houses, cabins, acreage, commercial lots and the married couple’s actual home.
Personal property is all other assets and includes everything from automobiles, boats, furniture, collectibles, business interests, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, jewelry, clothing, pensions and anything else that is not a building or land.
Deciding what is fair will be determined by several things. This can include how long a couple was married, what the grounds for the divorce are, which parent is maintaining primary custody of any children, current and potential income for each spouse, and what the contributions of each spouse have been during the marriage.
Debts Will Also be Divided
While many people focus on assets, it’s important to remember that a judge will also take a look at a couple’s debts and determine who will be responsible for their payment. Debts that occur after a couple separates become the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them most of the time, but not always.
Shalvoy Law serves clients in Newton and other nearby Connecticut communities.
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