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What does it mean that Connecticut is not a 50-50 state?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2021 | Divorce

Some states divide marital property equally among divorcing spouses. This is often referred to as “50-50 distribution.” However, Connecticut employs an equitable distribution method.

What does this mean for people getting divorced in Connecticut?

What is equitable distribution?

Courts in Connecticut divide marital assets according to what the court determines is fair. If the divorcing couple can not reach an agreement about the distribution of the property, the judge decides what is equitable based on the facts of the case and the needs of each spouse.

Which property is subject to equitable distribution?

Connecticut is an all-property state. With only a few exceptions, the court considers all property owned by the divorcing couple to be marital property. The court has authority to give marital property to either spouse, regardless of which spouse’s name is on the title, when the spouse purchased the property or whether the property was part of an inheritance or gift.  A spouse can not attempt to stop the court from awarding marital property to another spouse by claiming sole ownership due to purchase before the marriage occurred or for some other reason.

Benefits of reaching an agreement

Because Connecticut has no specific rules or formulas that govern property division, divorcing couples have significant flexibility when crafting their own agreements. However, if the couple can not agree, control passes to the judge. Working with an experienced family lawyer to establish a property division agreement that both spouses deem is equitable avoids the uncertainty involved in leaving the decision up to the courts.