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What does community and noncommunity property really mean?

Aside from issues concerning children, property division is one of the most complicated elements of divorce. It is also a massive source of conflict for many couples getting divorced. Many times, this conflict arises because each spouse is concerned that the other will come out ahead. Regardless of the reason, ongoing conflict can become fuel for an all-out battle.

It can help to understand more about property division, including the way your state approaches the issue. Connecticut is one of the many equitable distribution states, which means that courts attempt to divide property in a fair manner. You should know that this does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. A judge may award more of the couple's assets to the lesser-earning spouse, for example.

Community and noncommunity property issues may come into play when one or both spouses have their own separate property. As you might expect, this can become quite complicated in an equitable distribution state. To help you gain an understanding of this element of property division, the section below contains a brief breakdown of community property and separate property.

Community property is essentially everything you and your spouse have accumulated as a married couple. It also includes any debts you and your spouse have acquired together. Separate property may include any property or assets each spouse owned before getting married such as inheritances, pensions and court awards.

Because Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, it is wise to seek legal counsel for your property division issues. If not, it may be difficult to hold on to any separate or noncommunity property you think you are entitled to keep.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed Oct. 04, 2017

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