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What does it mean that Connecticut isn’t a 50-50 state?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Divorce

When discussing divorce laws, people often refer to states as either “50-50” or “equitable distribution” states.

Understanding the implications of this distinction can help clarify how property division works in Connecticut.

The equal split approach

According to the CDC, the divorce rate in Connecticut is 2.5 per 1,000 couples. In a 50-50 state, the law mandates an equal division of marital property, regardless of the circumstances. This approach simplifies the process but may not always lead to the most just outcome. For instance, if one spouse made significantly more contributions to the marital assets, an equal split might seem unfair.

Factors in equitable distribution

Connecticut’s system, known as equitable distribution, considers several factors to determine a fair division of property. The court examines the length of the marriage, the causes for the breakdown of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, their occupations and incomes, their vocational skills and employability and the contributions each made to their respective estates.

Considering contributions and needs

For example, if one spouse sacrificed their career to take care of the home and children, the court may award them a larger share of the marital property. Similarly, if one spouse has significantly greater earning potential, the court might adjust the distribution to account for this disparity. This method aims to ensure that both parties leave the marriage on relatively equal footing, reflecting their contributions and needs.

Defining marital property

Marital property in Connecticut includes all assets the couple acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. This can encompass homes, cars, bank accounts, investments and even retirement plans. The court’s goal remains to divide these assets in a way that seems fair to both parties.

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process. The fair division of assets is one of the important aspects of a break-up.