If you are going through a divorce, you will need to engage in the division of marital assets and property. There are two main steps to this process, which include determining the property that constitutes marital (or shared) property and the actual division of that property.
Marital property includes any assets or debt accrued after the marriage started. For example, a car purchased by the couple after marriage is marital property, but a car purchased by either the husband or the wife before the marriage is not.
When a couple files for divorce in Connecticut, state property division law requires judges to create an equitable division of the property. However, this is a bit of a misnomer. The division must be fair, but does not necessarily have to be equal. The extent of this ruling is left mostly up to the judge's discretion.
There are two basic types of property the judge must analyze: real property and personal property. Real property is any homes, buildings or land owned by the couple, and personal property is any other type of property, such as bank accounts, stocks, trusts, retirement funds, jewelry and furniture.
Courts typically use the following factors when determining how they will split marital property:
- The length of the marriage
- The causes of the divorce
- Various factors such as age, occupation, health, income and needs of each party
- What kind of property awards the court may make
- Existing child custody arrangements
If you are concerned about your spouse attempting to sell property before the property division process, there is an automatic order that goes into effect once the legal divorce documents are served, prohibiting the sale or concealment of any property without consent of the court or spouse.
If you have additional questions about division of marital property in Connecticut, contact the Stamford divorce attorneys at Siegel, Reilly & Kaufman, LLC.