In select Connecticut divorces, a general tone of civility can yield salutary outcomes for both parties that avoid overt displays of rancor or stark disagreements.
Not all decouplings are so happily resolved, though, especially when complex asset distribution is involved. As we note on our New Haven family law website at Berdon, Young & Margolis, divorce-linked property division often “causes chills to run up people’s spines.”
The reasons for that are several. A full and proper identification of assets can be tricky. Accurate valuation, too, can be a headache-inducing chore.
And then there is the threshold question of whether a spotlighted asset should even be a divorce consideration. The answer will depend on how it is legally classified.
In Connecticut, property at issue in a divorce is either “separate” or “marital,” with the distinction being key for its ultimate disposition.
In a nutshell, and as noted in a recent article addressing common divorce-related issues even before marriage, separate assets are those that were acquired prior to marriage (for example, an existing business, a home, savings and retirement accounts, an inheritance and so forth). Those holdings will remain immune from any divorce accounting if they retain their separate status.
On the other hand, marital property is virtually everything else of value that accumulates following marriage.
A problem that can easily arise in a divorce stems from a commingling of the former with the latter, which can render things immediately murky from a legal standpoint. In other words, separate property can become marital property through mishandling.
The above-cited article recommends proactively considering that and implementing strategies to avoid it before marriage.
Indeed, there are many things that can be timely done to minimize the chance of a property-related battle during the divorce process. A proven Connecticut family law attorney can provide further information.