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Division of Assets in a Connecticut Divorce

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Despite all the best efforts of you and your spouse, the harsh reality that a divorce is imminent has set in.  All at once a million questions run through your mind. Undoubtedly one of those questions is “who’s keeping what?”  Some would have you believe that if they were the primary income earner for the household that they are entitled to most or of all the marital assets. Phrases such as “I paid for this house and car and I’m not giving up either!” can be heard usually in the first five minutes someone discusses their upcoming divorce.

The fact of the matter is, it simply does not work that way. In best case scenarios both parties involved can present an equitable distribution of all their property to the court. Typically, if the agreement is fair and reasonable the court will accept it. In terms of divorce and legal separation, Connecticut is an equitable state as well as an all property state.  Simply put an “all property state” is one in which the courts have jurisdiction over all the property involved, both marital and previously owned separate property brought into the marriage.  

But what if we don’t agree?

In the event that the parties cannot agree on a fair and reasonable division of the property, the court will decide for them. There are several factors that the judge will consider when dividing these assets. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statute 46B-81, these are: the length of the marriage, amount and source of income for both parties, the cause for the decision to divorce or legally separate, the age of both parties, health, station, occupation, earning capacity, vocational skills, education, employability, estate, liabilities, needs of each of the parties, and the opportunity for future acquisition of future capital assets and income.  

One should never assume that being the sole income earner in a household is grounds for retaining a majority of the property, or that being the homemaker will instantly qualify you for alimony and retention of the marital home. The court will consider all factors and ensure that a fair and reasonable distribution plan be put into place.