Connecticut Divorce Attorneys Aggressively Pursue Fair Division of Marital Assets
Accomplished Westport firm handles equitable distribution matters
Unwinding the financial ties that exist between divorcing spouses can be a complicated and difficult process. Whether property division issues are being resolved through negotiation or in court, skillful legal guidance is critical to protecting your interests as you move forward with your life. Needle | Cuda in Westport has years of experience advising clients on Connecticut’s equitable distribution law and how it applies to their situation. Whether the allocation of assets and debts is straightforward or complex, our experienced advocates work to achieve a favorable resolution for each of their clients.
Thorough Fairfield County lawyers advise on marital and separate property
The first step to understanding how a divorce will affect you and your family financially is to understand what property is actually considered to be included within the marital estate. With decades of combined experience, our attorneys will deliver detailed explanations of:
- Marital property — With very few exceptions, wealth and property accumulated during the marriage become part of the marital estate and subject to equitable distribution when the divorce is finalized. This is true no matter which spouse earned or acquired the assets that comprise the marital estate. One of the reasons for this equitable approach is because Connecticut recognizes the non-monetary contribution of a stay at home spouse.
- Separate property — Property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage is still considered part of the marital estate in Connecticut so that the Court has the jurisdiction to make orders related to this property. However, one factor the Court considers when determining what is equitable, is how an asset became part of the marital estate. This might also apply to gifts or inheritances left to one spouse during the course of the marriage. As a result of the Connecticut property statute, these assets may be treated differently than assets accumulated during the marriage.
- Effect of prenuptial agreements — A valid prenuptial agreement significantly alters how assets are divided in divorce. Whether you are seeking to enforce or challenge a prenuptial agreement we are experienced in assessing if a claim might exist that the prenuptial agreement is invalid or enforceable, based on Connecticut law.
Valuing assets can be complex, especially when calculating business worth, investment potential and tax implications of transfer. When necessary, we bring in forensic accountants, to assist in the evaluation process.
Family law attorneys evaluate the statutory factors applied by Courts to distribute assets
If a property division agreement cannot be negotiated between the parties, our family law attorneys will present a comprehensive case to support a favorable decision under the state’s equitable distribution standards. This means that a court issues an order based on what the judge thinks is fair or equitable and this does not necessarily translate to an equal or 50-50 split of assets. Factors that can be used in the determination of equitable distribution include:
- Marriage duration — Longer marriages lead to increased financial interdependence. Spouses who did not work outside the home for many years might be awarded a greater share of marital assets to help them adjust to their new situation.
- Causes of the divorce — Although Connecticut is a “no fault” divorce state, the reasons the marriage failed is a factor the Court may consider in determining what is equitable.
- Earning capacity, employability and station — Courts examine each spouse’s earning ability and lifestyle to evaluate if they can maintain their manner of living after the divorce.
- Each party’s contribution to the acquisition, preservation and appreciation in value of assets — While Connecticut recognizes the non-monetary contribution of a stay at home spouse, the Court will still consider each party’s respective input to the marital estate.
Our high-touch approach to family law representation gives clients the support they need to make compelling arguments relating to these and other equitable distribution factors.
Skillful advocates manage situations involving the allocation of debt
Allocating debt after a divorce can create a great deal of financial and emotional stress. Even in high-achieving families, obligations relating to education loans, taxes, real estate and business ventures can place significant burdens on the parties. We will look at debt accumulated before and during the marriage to help avoid any unfair burden once the marriage is dissolved. Should a mortgage still exist on the marital home, our lawyers can suggest creative ways to manage situations where one party remains in the home to raise the family’s children or maintain their lifestyle.
Contact a knowledgeable Connecticut divorce lawyer for assistance with asset division
Needle | Cuda represents clients in Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut in asset division disputes and a full range of matters associated with divorce. Please call 203-429-4151 or contact us online to make an appointment for a meeting at our Westport office.