Couples in Connecticut who are considering getting a divorce might benefit from understanding just how their property is divided up in a divorce. The way that their assets are divided depends upon what type of assets they have. Generally, couples have separate assets and marital ones.
Marital assets are any assets that the couple acquired after they were married. Even If an asset is only listed in one person's name, it is still considered a marital asset as long as it was obtained after they were married. Vehicles, real estate, retirement plans, bank accounts, brokerage accounts and more are all examples of marital assets. In a division of property, marital assets are the assets that the couple must divide in some manner.
Separate assets are mostly assets that each person already owned before they were married with a few exceptions. For instance, if one spouse came into an inheritance, received a gift from someone or received money for pain and suffering, then it is considered a separate asset. However, separate assets may become marital ones if the owner of the asset makes it accessible to the spouse. For example, if a spouse owns a vehicle prior to marriage and then later puts the vehicle in the spouse's name as well, then it becomes a marital asset.
After assets have been determined to be separate ones or marital ones, then the type of state that a couple lives in determines how those assets are divided. Connecticut is an equitable distribution state. This means that courts take certain factors into consideration when dividing property between spouses. For example, how long the couple was married, how much each person contributed to the marriage, the standard of living that was established during the marriage and other such factors can influence who gets what in a divorce. A divorce attorney might be able to help people in dividing their property.
Source: Huffington Post, "Understanding How Assets Get Divided In Divorce", Jeff Landers, June 14, 2013