Every state handles divorce differently. Connecticut has an equitable distribution law rather than community property laws. What does that mean?
It means that people going through a divorce are expected to divide their marital assets fairly, not equally. Doing what is equitable may not work out to you and your spouse splitting your assets 50-50.
How do you know what’s equitable in a divorce?
To start with, you have to figure out which property is shared and which is not. Only property that falls into the category of marital property is divided. The rest is kept by the person who originally purchased or obtained it. Separate property might include things like your vehicle purchased before marriage or an inheritance, though there are exceptions.
Once you know which property falls into the category of marital property, you will need to divide it. To do that, you first have to know each asset’s value. Some assets, like your home or vehicle, might need to be appraised.
After determining how much your assets are worth, you will need to determine what an equitable distribution of your property would be. This will vary based on your circumstances, so there is no simple calculation to follow.
Instead, you should look at factors such as:
- Who provided the income in the family and how much of their money they invested in those assets
- If each party invested in the marriage equally or at a different ratio. For example, did one parent stay home with your children? Did both parties work and have similar incomes? Did one person work while the other stayed home and did not? These are questions to ask yourself
- The health and earning capacities of each person
Normally, you can determine how to divide your property by negotiating. Most divorcing couples start with a presumption of a 50-50 split and go from there. However, you are not obligated to split your assets 50-50, so if you believe that you should receive a greater portion or that you need to receive a larger portion for financial stability, then that is something to discuss with your attorney.