When it comes to divorce, dividing assets can be difficult. Who is entitled to what property? Who has to pay debts accumulated during the marriage? These are common questions that couples ask when faced with divorce. It is important to note that couples can answer these questions by themselves. Couples are entitled to dividing property and debts out of court, if this is possible. However, if the case goes to court, a judge will divide these assets and debts for you.

Mediating a Divorce

If you and your spouse face a fairly amicable divorce, and you think that you can sort through your property, assets, and debt on your own, this is a good idea. Keeping the negotiation out of court will save you time and money. In addition, you will have more power over what you keep because you can make decisions between you and your spouse. If you take your case to court, a judge will make the final decision, which can be a gamble. You can settle your divorce outside of court with the help of a third party, such as a mediator.

Mediators are meant to help a couple compromise on what they want and don’t want in the divorce. After listening to what both spouses want out of the divorce, a mediator will propose an agreement on how to split up assets and debt. If the agreement is pleasing to both parties, they can sign the agreement and it will go into effect.

Settling a Divorce in Court

However, if an agreement cannot be reached out of court, there are state laws that dictate how property and debt is to be divided in a divorce. The divorce can go to court, and a judge will follow these rules in order to distribute the property fairly. Some states follow different rules. The states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin all follow community property laws.

This means that all property is divided into community property that is owned equally by both parties, or separate property, that is only owned by one spouse. In divorce, the community property is divided equally, and separate property is given to the spouse it belongs to. This division includes community debts and separate debts.

All other states, like Connecticut, use equitable distribution laws. Equitable distribution divides all assets, property, and debt that is accumulated during the marriage in an equitable way. This is a fair division, but it isn’t necessarily equal for both parties. Equitable distribution takes into account each spouse’s individual financial situation and earning capacity in order to divide the property in relation to these factors. Sometimes, a judge will order that one spouse gets separate property so that the settlement is fair for both parties.

Property Division in Divorce

“It is black letter law that Connecticut is an equitable distribution property state . . .” Wendt v. Wendt, 59 Conn. App. 656, 662, 757 A.2d 1225 (2000). ” At the time of entering a decree annulling or dissolving a marriage or for legal separation pursuant to a complaint . . . the Superior Court may assign to either the husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other.” CT. Gen. Stat. 46b-81. “This approach to property division is commonly referred to as an all property equitable distribution scheme.” Krafick v. Krafick, 234 Conn. 783, 792 (1995).

“An equitable distribution of property should take into consideration the plaintiff’s contributions to the marriage, including homemaking activities and primary care taking responsibilities.” O’Neill v. O’Neill, 13 Conn. App. 311. ” A determination of each spouses’ contribution within the meaning of General Statutes 46b-81 includes non monetary as well as monetary contributions.” Id.

Credit to: Lady Divorce and CT Judicial for the information

Our firm in Westport serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce law attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to contact Joseph Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com.