Dividing Marital Assets During a New Haven Divorce
Divorce courts are courts of equity. The court looks at what is fair, and the determination of what is fair is essentially discretionary, but you have to look at all the finances of the couple. Why do those assets exist? Do they gain value? Will they decrease value? Who caused the gained value? Who caused the decrease in value? Was there a dissipation of the assets? There are a number of factors at play, which is why it is helpful to get an attorney’s help when going through this process.
Determining a Person’s Assets
Determining a person’s assets will require a process of discovery, which has many statutory requirements. It is one of the most painstaking aspects of divorce and includes bank statements, credit card statements, appraisals, business valuations, and market analysis of houses. There are many considerations, but they are basically all financial records.
The issue with trial in all cases is that you are leaving enough to a third person, a judge, who rightly has advanced knowledge and is experienced in this particular area, but ultimately, at trial you are leaving it up to a third party who does not know the other two parties. There is a very limited sliver of these people’s lives that is making a determination of who gets what.
If the parties can determine who gets what without the interference of the court, the court would prefer that and so would everybody else.
Many people do not want somebody else determining what is best for their financial state. They don’t want somebody else determining what is best for their kids while they still have the power to do so. It is beneficial to take advantage of resolving the division of assets without court involvement; the power is going to be given to the judge if you do not reach an agreement.
The best thing to do is reach a compromise. It is not about being happy in a divorce, it is about having a resolution you can live with.
Equitable Distribution in New Haven
Fair and equitable distribution is given based on the totality of the circumstances. How should the assets and how should the debts that would offset the assets be divided between the parties? Equitable implies that the distribution will always be 50/50. It is not always 50/50. Determining each party’s assets will decide whether an equitable distribution will be 50/50.
The division of assets is determined by not only the actual assets themselves, but the length of the marriage, the causes for the dissolution, the age, health, station, occupation, amount, and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, a person’s estate, the debts, and the needs of each party going forward, as well as the opportunity of each for future acquisition of assets.
The statutes of that is Connecticut general statute 46C-81. A lawyer will get the evidence to support our position on each one of those factors and be able to submit that to court or submit that to a mediator to explain why my client should get more.
Protecting Personal Assets
One of the things that people can do to protect their assets is to make a post-nuptial agreement, however, they cannot archive things. For example, a person cannot go and put money in off-shore accounts and start taking out obscene amounts of debt or equity because the court will look back and see what that person has been with doing with the money leading up to the divorce.
If someone is contemplating divorce and they drain all their accounts, they are going to get a negative inference for that at court.
The best thing to do is to consult a lawyer. If someone is planning on getting a divorce next week, there is a different plan of attack than if they are planning on getting a divorce in three years.