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The marital home and property division in a divorce

Although Connecticut uses the principle of equitable distribution to address marital assets during a divorce, the issue of the family home may be decided based on important factors in the relationship. Children are an important consideration if the court is to decide who keeps a home. Issues such as domestic abuse may also play a role. In some cases, a couple may arrive at a plan for dealing with the home without a judge's involvement. In other instances, the court may have the final say in the matter.

If there are children involved, the parent who will have primary physical custody may be granted the right to stay in the home. This is considered important due to the stability that is provided to children as they are able to continue living and going to school in their familiar neighborhood. As children reach the age of majority, the home might be put up for sale so that the equity can be shared appropriately between the two parties. As an alternative, a home equity loan might be used to provide the other party with the value that would have been received, and the parent who has continued in the home would then be able to continue living in the residence.

If there are no children of a marriage, a settlement might be reached to determine how the home will be treated. If there is equity, it might be sold and the proceeds split. This could also be ordered by the court if an agreement is not reached through settlement negotiations.

As a couple approaches a divorce, it may be beneficial to work toward a settlement outside of court so that both parties can have a say in the division of marital property. Working through their lawyers, a couple may be able to limit the possibility of undesired property division terms.

Source: Findlaw, "Divorce and Property", November 18, 2014

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