Property Matters

Property Matters in Bridgeport, CT

Property Division

Because Connecticut is an equitable distribution property state, one cannot be certain of future property rights if the relationship ends. A prenuptial agreement is a good way to avoid property disputes in the case that the marriage ends in divorce.

Equitable Marital Property Division

In Connecticut, courts determine property division based on what is fair or equitable. Although certain assets may be kept separate from marital property, such as individual inheritances or property brought into the marriage, the court may choose to divide property in any manner that it believes to be equitable.
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The following factors are used to determine what is fair:
  • Age
  • Health
  • Length of the marriage
  • Cause for the termination of the marriage
  • Occupation
  • Available assets
  • Income and sources of income 
  • Vocational skills, education, and earning capacity 
  • Debt and liabilities 
  • Special needs 
  • Contribution to the marriage
Many factors used to determine equitable distribution of marital property are similar to the factors used to determine alimony. However, the contribution to the marriage is also considered. Providing income to the marriage is considered to be a valuable contribution, and so is homemaking and raising children.

Property Division & Retirement

A retirement fund is often the most significant asset acquired during marriage outside of the marital home. Therefore, it is essential that any marital settlement agreement carefully address retirement funds, including stocks, IRAs, 401ks, pension plans, or other investments.

Gans & Gans has the experience and resources to help you understand how retirement funds are treated in property division and help you establish a settlement which fully protects your right to these assets.

Asserting your Rights to All Marital Property
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A retirement fund is a marital asset and should be considered accordingly when determining division of property. If an agreement is not reached involving retirement funds, the courts will utilize the same factors as used for determining other property divisions, giving each party an equitable share of the retirement fund or an asset of comparable value.

  • Division of retirement funds: If a retirement fund is divided between the couple, it is necessary to determine the value of the funds at the date of the divorce decree. 

  • Allocation of comparable asset: The value of the retirement fund is determined by considering current monetary value (from the date of the divorce), life expectancy, assessment of retirement age, and many other factors. Once determined, comparable real estate or other assets may be awarded in place of a share of the retirement fund.
Before making any property division agreements, it is important to understand the elements of your retirement funds. Obtain any financial information necessary before filing for divorce, so you are aware of all retirement and investment plans before the documentation is disputed or altered.

If you need help with any of the above legal matters, call Gans & Gans at 203-916-1943 today.
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