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Assets Owned Before Marriage

Assets Owned Before Marriage In Connecticut

In a Connecticut Divorce, property can be divided by the CT Family Courts in manor that is fair, but not always equal

An important aspect of divorce affecting your financial future is property division. In Connecticut, all property owned by either spouse, including property acquired prior to marriage, is considered within the jurisdiction of the family court to divide and distribute in a manner the court deems fair, although the division is not necessarily equal. As your advocates, the divorce attorneys at Needle|Cuda in Westport fight to make sure you get the property you are entitled to upon divorce. That includes making persuasive arguments that you have a paramount interest in your premarital assets.

Connecticut’s “Equitable Distribution” Law covers Premarital Property

Connecticut gives judges broad discretion to consider all property acquired by either spouse before or during the marriage. How the division of premarital assets will be made depends on multiple factors, so it is important to demonstrate a stronger claim to an asset that was owned prior to marriage.

How to protect premarital property and assets in a Connecticut divorce?

Although all property is potentially subject to equitable distribution, there are measures you can take to shield property you owned before you were married. These include executing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement designating certain assets as separate property that will be exempt from equitable distribution. Another such mechanism is keeping premarital accounts separate from family accounts and not using the funds in separate accounts to support family needs, thereby strengthening a claim for retention of those premarital accounts.

How are Valuation Increases of Premarital Property are treated in a Connecticut Divorce?

Not only the acquisition but also the preservation and appreciation of assets will factor into equitable distribution. Even if property is owned by one spouse prior to marriage, the other spouse’s involvement in its management or preservation can influence how the asset is treated. Take, for example, a business solely owned by the husband prior to marriage. If the wife had expertise in marketing that she applied in helping the business grow, but she took no salary for her work, her labor may strengthen her claim to a share in the value of the business.

Our Connecticut divorce attorneys are determined to protect your premarital property during equitable distribution and also to make sure that any contribution you’ve made to managing your spouse’s premarital assets are taken into account. We know what to expect in high net-worth divorce and we can protect your interests as we fight for the best possible outcome.

Contact our Westport, CT Divorce Attorneys to discuss property division a Connecticut Divorce and protection of Premarital Property

Needle|Cuda in Fairfield County helps clients throughout Connecticut obtain a fair share of the property divided during divorce. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact our Westport office online.

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Asset and Property Division in Connecticut Divorce

Equitable property division is the "fair" distribution of property owned by both spouses—either marital or separate—in the event of a divorce as determined by the court. The critical term is fair concerning equitable property division proceedings. As discussed above, what the court deems "fair" in equitable property division is rarely equal. Connecticut is an all-property state, meaning that all types of property are considered when the court makes its findings. It is important to know the difference between the types of property to be divided.

While a divorce decree could result in a 50/50 split on all marital property, in practice, that rarely happens. In Connecticut, equitable distribution means that the court will consider various factors when they decide how the marital property will be divided. This could result in one spouse receiving the lion's share of the property to balance an inequity in earning power or to provide a financially dependent spouse with the means to become self-sufficient.

Separate property is any property owned solely by one spouse, such as property acquired before the marriage, gifts, or inheritances. In most equitable division jurisdictions, separate property would be excepted from the court's distribution discretion because property established to belong to one person should remain with that person. However, because Connecticut is an all-property state for the purposes of divorce, even the property which has been proven to be owned or under the control of only one spouse is still subject to distribution. This includes exotic property like art, cars, and other unique or custom items.

Marital property is property obtained by either party while married. This property can include items like cars, houses, or other financial assets acquired while you and your spouse are married. Even assets like retirement funds can be distributed in divorce to the extent that those funds were added to the account while married.

It is unlikely that any spouse will be left without any interest in their 401k at divorce. But because retirement accounts are eligible for "Equitable Distribution" in a divorce, it is possible that a spouse could be forced to part with a portion.

Through the discovery process, your lawyer can demand that your spouse provide all relevant financial information. This may include whether they have a retirement account and which institution services it. Spouses that seek to hide assets may be sanctioned by the court.

For a prenup to be valid in Connecticut, it must meet several requirements. The judge handling your divorce will be responsible for determining the validity of a prenup. However, the divorce attorneys at Needle I Cuda know the law surrounding prenups and will be your best resource in evaluating the potential validity of any prenuptial agreement.

It depends. In short, all property, no matter when it was acquired and by whom, can be divided and distributed upon divorce in Connecticut. This can potentially include a property one spouse owned in full before the marriage. While you may be permitted to argue that certain property should be excluded from the marital estate, the law in Connecticut does allow for equitable distribution of all property of both spouses.

The law in Connecticut does not favor either spouse. A judge deciding who gets the house is bound to follow the law. They are not permitted to favor either spouse when determining what is equitable. Still, a spouse that was the primary caretaker for the children during the marriage can argue that when considering all of the factors, they should remain in the marital home. Spouses must remember that that will not be the only factor considered by the court.

The court may award the marital home to the spouse that is awarded primary physical custody. Still, primary custody is defined as having the children more than 50% of the time. In other words, having primary custody is different from sole physical custody, which would mean one spouse has the children all of the time. In a sole physical custody situation, the spouse caring for the children full-time may be likely to get to remain in the marital home.

Yes, but not unless an order from the court has been obtained or you and your spouse agree that it is best to sell the home--and the sale of your house is incorporated into your final (court ordered) divorce decree. Clearly, before agreeing as impactful as this, you will want to consult with a divorce attorney before any agreement is finalized. Issues surrounding taxes, title, the mortgage, possible liens, and how the proceeds of the sale will be allocated will need to be sorted before a sale is effectuated.

It depends. In short, all property, no matter when it was acquired and by whom, can be divided and distributed upon divorce in Connecticut. This can potentially include a property one spouse owned in full before the marriage. While you may be permitted to argue that certain property should be excluded from the marital estate, the law in Connecticut does allow for equitable distribution of all property of both spouses.

Who will get the marital home after the divorce depends on several factors. If there is an agreement between the spouses on what will happen to the marital home, then that likely will be the result. For divorces where there is no agreement, a judge will decide based on the "Equitable Distribution" factors that must be considered by statute . If there are children involved who are currently living in the home, that may also have a bearing on who will get the home.

While it is rare that a spouse will lose all interest in a business due to a divorce, the business may need to be sold. Still, when this happens, the proceeds from the sale will be distributed between the parties. It is unlikely a business asset will be sold with only one spouse receiving all of the proceeds.

How much the business is worth can be determined through the use of business valuation experts. These professions will look at the business's data and draft reports that will tend to show what the business is worth. Another method is comparing the sale prices of similar businesses within the same industry.

Through a process known as discovery, your lawyer will be able to request all relevant information concerning the business and its financial health. Valuation experts can then analyze that info to paint a picture of the business asset's worth and projected outlook. Once a value is determined, the business asset or the value assigned to the business asset may then be distributed by the court upon divorce.

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