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How the law views property before and after divorce

There is an interesting shift in the way that the law views your property before and after a divorce in Connecticut. After you split up, the court may decide who gets what, splitting everything that you own between you and your spouse. To put it lightly, the law has a huge say in what you own, what your spouse owns and how ownership continues after your marriage ends.

What's interesting is that laws don't really exist regarding ownership when you are happily married. For instance, if you buy a car, there's not a law saying that the car is explicitly your own property. The same goes for a house.

This makes sense in cases where ownership is split. For example, if you and your spouse apply for a mortgage together, you may both be on the paperwork. However, not everyone does this. In some cases, one spouse buys the home outright, without putting the other on the application at all. This is often done when one person has had financial problems in the past and has poor credit.

In essence, these laws about who owns what while you're married don't exist because the legal system is already treating the property as being jointly owned. This is the same outlook that is used when property is divided. Since it was jointly owned, the split has to be fair so that you both get half. Still, considering how involved the courts can be after a divorce, it's interesting that laws have never been passed addressing ownership and the rights to certain types of property within a marriage.

As your divorce progresses, be sure you know just how the law looks at you, your spouse and your property.

Source: APA, "That's mine! Property division in divorce," Amanda B. Hussein, accessed July 23, 2015

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