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Separating your assets: Know their worth

When you get a divorce, one thing you need to understand well is the way your property will be divided. In Connecticut, the state follows equitable distribution laws. This means that each party is able to fight for an equitable share of the marital estate.

Marital property is the only thing that is divided during a divorce. There are some items that may remain separate property despite marriage, like separate bank accounts not used to fund the marriage or lifestyle, inheritances and purchases made before marriage. Typically, anything you obtain or purchase during your marriage is marital property, but there are a few small exceptions that you should speak with your attorney about.

If there are major assets that must be valued, then the court will want to know the fair market value. You and your spouse can have a valuation performed on your home or other major assets, so you have the facts about their current worth. You shouldn't always base your decisions on the value of an asset, but it's helpful to know where you stand in terms of financial leverage.

Finally, remember that you can't resolve your marriage until you and your spouse decide how to divide your property. While you can wait for a judge to tell you how to split your assets, that's not something you always want to do. It's better to sit down and negotiate with your spouse, so you can fight for the assets you want and negotiate away the assets you don't need. This can work out beneficially for both of you.

Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries, "Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in Connecticut," accessed June 01, 2018

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