Divorce — Division of Marital Property
Assistance with Connecticut property division
The state of Connecticut is referred to as an “all property equitable division state.” This means the court can distribute all or a portion of a marital estate to either the husband or the wife, regardless of when it was acquired. In practical terms, this means all property, including pre-marital property, inheritance, or money from a lawsuit is subject to division if the court believes doing so would be equitable. Here, “equitable” does not refer to a 50-50 split; rather, “equitable” refers to what the court believes is fair given the length of a marriage, the work and education background of both spouses, the standard of living of each, health issues, and other important factors. At the law office of Collins Hannafin, P.C., our attorneys take great pride in identifying the important factors in a specific marriage, objectively advising our clients on what to expect, and helping our clients attain their legitimate objectives and concerns.
If you are facing divorce or are considering what the financial consequences might be, contact Collins, Hannafin today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
What the court considers when dividing marital assets
While each case is different, some of the factors considered by the court include the following:
- Length of a marriage
- Health of each spouse
- Causes of a divorce
- Special needs of one or both spouses
- Employability of each spouse
- Did one spouse work to put the other through school
- Who served as the primary caretaker of the home and children
- Standard of living of both spouses
- Contribution of each spouse to marital assets and their appreciation in value
- Debt of each spouse
- Future earning capacity
What happens to your home?
Under Connecticut law, both parties have a right to the primary marital residence, regardless of whether the home was bought together or brought into the marriage by one of the spouses. As such, one spouse cannot deny the other spouse access to their home. After divorce papers are filed, however, both spouses can petition the court to award exclusive use of the home to them. In dividing the marital estate, any equity earned on the home since the marriage is subject to division.
Retirement funds subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are eligible for division in Connecticut. Assets accrued through a 401k plan, pension plan, or retirement savings account must be divided through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Understanding how to process a QDRO and what your rights are under Connecticut law is important in ensuring that you aren’t misled or taken advantage of during the division process.
Inheritance and personal injury awards
Generally, Connecticut Courts consider awards and settlements stemming from personal injury and worker’s compensation cases marital property subject to equitable division. In addition, inheritance may also be considered marital property, depending upon an examination of certain factors.