The Wrenching Task Of Dividing Marital Property
The division of property in divorce causes chills to run up people’s spines. Many think property division is a 50-50 split of all their belongings, which is how it is done in community property states like California.
A Commonsense Standard Rooted In Simple Fairness
Connecticut follows a less rigid method, which we call equitable distribution, that follows a common-sense standard of fairness rather than cutting everything into two equal parts. The Connecticut approach requires greater thought and more negotiation. There are many difficult issues to resolve, including:
- What is classified as marital property, or property acquired during the marriage, and what was acquired outside the marriage
- Whether a prenuptial agreement exists, and whether it is properly constructed and enforceable
- Issues that arise when the marriage is a second marriage, with both sides already possessing significant assets
- The issue of fault, as many divorcing couples either overestimate or in some cases underestimate the impact fault should have in division of property
- Whether the two sides were married for a long time, as courts usually seek to restore parties in short-term marriages to the approximate status they enjoyed before marriage
In our practice, we at Berdon, Young & Margolis, PC, of New Haven, try to take a long-term view of property division. It is important to have specific goals and to prioritize one’s objectives. Sometimes parties fail to appreciate the value of an asset, the expense of maintaining it or tax consequences of either retaining or allowing one’s spouse to keep it. This is particularly true with closely held businesses and commercial real estate holdings. The lawyers at Berdon, Young & Margolis, PC, are experienced in appreciating these complexities.
Solving Practical Problems Despite Powerful Emotions
These situations all have powerful financial and emotional aspects. We appreciate that, and we keep that in mind as we advocate on your behalf. Our attorneys encourage you to think strategically — “What works best for the life I am embarking on?”