Danbury Lawyer Assisting Clients in Divorce Proceedings
Ending a marriage is frequently stressful and unpleasant, and the financial issues involved can add to the emotional turmoil. Unless a marriage lasts very little time, or there is an effective pre- or post-nuptial agreement in place, one of the most critical matters the couple may face is the division of their assets. If you are thinking about seeking a divorce in the Danbury area, contact divorce attorney Walter A. Shalvoy, Jr. for assistance in formulating a plan for splitting your property. Mr. Shalvoy has over a decade of experience assisting clients with a variety of family law matters, including division of assets.
Equitable Distribution Rules Apply to Connecticut Property Division
Under Connecticut law, marital property is subject to equitable distribution. It is important to understand that “equitable” does not mean “equal.” Instead, it means “fair.” In determining what makes a fair division of assets, the court assesses a number of factors, which may include:
- The length of the marriage
- The grounds for the divorce
- Whether there are minor children
- Who retains custody of any minor or special-needs children
- The respective incomes of the spouses
- The earning potential of the spouses following divorce
- The ages and abilities/disabilities of either spouse
- Any contributions made by either spouse to the value of the assets
- The roles of the spouses during marriage, such as if one stayed home to raise children
After short marriages, it is likely that the court will try to return each spouse as closely as possible to his or her position before the marriage. However, the division of assets calculation will be more complicated if a marriage has lasted a long time, if children are involved, or if there is a clear disparity in the income or income potential of the spouses.
All of the spouses’ property is subject to distribution, no matter when or how it was acquired. This is because, unlike other equitable distribution states, Connecticut does not distinguish between marital property and separate property. In some states, certain property like a gift or an inheritance is treated as the separate property of the spouse who owned or received it, and the court does not consider it in the distribution at all. By contrast, Connecticut is an “all property” state. This means that the court may take into account everything owned by the spouses as part of the calculation of what is “equitable.”
However, this does not necessarily mean that a wife who received a bequest of a pearl necklace from a beloved grandmother is likely to lose it in divorce court. The principle followed in Connecticut simply allows the court to consider all the property the couple has in determining what is equitable between the spouses. If the court removed separate property from the court’s control, it could make the division of assets unfair if one or the other spouse has considerable separate property.
Seek Legal Guidance from a Family Law Attorney in Waterbury
Whether your divorce is amicable or contested, you may need the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer serving the Waterbury area. Walter A. Shalvoy, Jr. can assist you with valuing your property and formulating a division of assets agreement or proposal for the court. The Shalvoy Law Firm also can represent you when negotiating with your spouse or in litigation on any divorce matters. For a consultation on your property division issue, call 203-426-4409, or use the contact form on this website.